It’s okay, I’m a professional.

Recently in California, a bill died in committee that would have allowed “a school district… to provide school personnel with voluntary medical training to provide emergency medical assistance to pupils with diabetes suffering from severe hypoglycemia.” Why didn’t the bill pass? Those who opposed it (namely labor unions) claim ”concern for the safety of the students.”

But it’s not a concern for the students; it’s a concern for job security. It seems like a legitimate argument; only licensed medical persons should administer live-saving drugs and procedures and lay people should be categorically banned. But the unions have an incentive to protect any monopoly they can lay claim on (in this case a safe but life-saving procedure) using the lives of children as blackmail to have more staff hired. By banning all alternatives, parents have no choice but to side with the unions who have secured a monopoly on the one thing that can save their child.

So is being a professional important because it insures the safety of the patient, or is it important because it insures the safety of the professional? And if that’s the case, what’s so wrong with letting non-professionals provide the same service? What’s wrong with allowing that optionality for the consumer to decide? In the case of thousands of young children in California, it’s as important as choosing between life and death.

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