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Lockerbie Balm

So how is Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi faring eight months after Scotland sent him back to Libya, owing to his “terminal prostate cancer”? Is he on his deathbed? Comatose? It’s been eight months, did he die without press coverage?

The Lockerbie bomber celebrated his 58th birthday on Thursday at a Libyan mansion, defying the imminent death Scottish officials predicted when they compassionately freed him from prison nearly eight months ago. …

“Since returning to the love of family and friends, he has made a remarkable recovery,” a diplomatic source told the (London) Daily Mail.

The story gets worse with analysis. The obvious take is that Megrahi was never that sick and the UK freed him in return for some Libyan oil deals. But let’s suppose his cancer was actually fatal in Scotland. If this is the case, it’s hardly surprising that it became less so once he left the UK. Take a look at cancer-survival rates under the British medical system we’re now tenaciously emulating in the U.S.

From the Concord study published in 2008 in Lancet Oncology: The five-year survival rate for breast cancer in the U.S. is roughly 84%. In the U.K., it is around 70%. Overall survival rates from all cancers in males is 66% in the U.S., 45% in the U.K. For prostate cancer specifically, the rather astounding numbers are 92% in the U.S. versus 51% in the U.K. [emphasis added]

In the UK, nearly half of all prostate cancer is terminal. In the U.S., nearly all cases are survivable. Megrahi may have been freed twice: first from prison, then from UK health care. It’s entirely likely that Libyan medical treatment given to a close friend of Muammar Qaddafi could have raised Megrahi out of the 51 percent survivability ghetto of the United Kingdom. My question is, who’s springing us when America adopts prison-like health care?



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