Published Articles

Wednesday, March 15, 1995

According to an old Cuban proverb, "Camarón que se duerme, se lo lleva la corriente" (shrimp that sleep are swept away by the current). Some physicians may find Dr. Faria's wake-up call as welcome as a blast of Arctic wind. In his view, the current policy of most medical organizations --- "nonconfrontation and cooperation" --- could make them, in effect, accomplices of the barbarians.

From Faria's historic perspective, the currents that some consider the wave of the future are as old as the Code of Hammurabi. Because of the threat of severe government reprisals, the most knowledgeable physicians in the civilized world at that time recommended against treating patients --- the ultimate "defensive medicine."

As an example of a leader who forestalled imminent collapse in a time of crisis, Faria points to Diocletian. Although he subdued military enemies and reestablished law and order, his domestic "reforms" accelerated the corrosion of the foundations of the Roman Republic. Diocletian abrogated codified laws and installed an overbearing centralized government that overrode the rights of citizens and local governors. The specific remedies are familiar: wage and price...

Wednesday, March 1, 1995

The world owes all its onward impulses to men ill at ease.
The happy man inevitably confines himself within ancient limits.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

On Managed Care And Cutting-Edge Technology

In the wake of the epochal November1994 elections that swept conservatives to power, and hopefully a new philosophy of health reform—viz, economic incentives to promote healthy lifestyles and the pursuit of longevity—it is appropriate and relevant we discuss the new vistas of opportunities for cutting-edge technologies in the biomedical industries and the potential impediments to health progress.

Despite the presently available medical networks for communication via Cybermedix and the Information Superhighway, the greatest impediment to this “state of the art” technology reaching clinical medicine and patients any time soon, remains the present atmosphere of cost controls, covert rationing of medical care, and litigation- (of individual physicians, not the networks which are shielded) on-demand.

Managed competition—the prevailing philosophy of health care delivery with its centerpiece,...

Thursday, February 23, 1995

How is one to describe a book in which chapter I begins with the words "In the beginning" and that then proceeds to discuss, in 32 chapters, the history of humanity and the development of medicine and medical ethics - up to, and including, the ill-fated Clinton health plan? The book has been written by a practicing neurosurgeon with wide-ranging interests. Its sweep through history is demonstrated by the 30 photographic plates of such mythological and historical figures as Osiris, Hippocrates, and Vesalius. The political leanings of the author, who escaped Cuba at the age of 13, are demonstrated by two other plates - one of him interviewing a wounded Salvadoran soldier, and another of his wife holding a SAM-7 missile launcher captured from a Nicaraguan plane transporting weapons to the Salvadoran guerrillas.

The book presents a conservative critique of modern efforts at reform of the health care system, along with a comprehensive historical review that Dr. Faria claims demonstrates the dangers of uncoupling private initiative and free markets from the provision of health care services. The principal target of the book is the Clinton health plan, but there are a host of...

Keyword(s): health care reform

Sunday, February 5, 1995

I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work.
I want to achieve immortality through not dying.

Woody Allen

In the aftermath of the conservative revolution of November 8th [1994], we can again ponder some politically incorrect ideas. Voilà, instead of “proper allocation of finite and scarce resources,” we can indulge to think about longevity, prolonging the lifespan and the quality of life of patients. We can recount the story of medical advances that brought about the unprecedented increase in longevity, particularly in the wake of the Industrial Revolution.

Allow me, then, the indulgence of prefacing my story with the historic tale of the indomitable, Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León (c.1460-1521) who discovered and explored Florida in 1513. According to a legend told to him by the natives, there was  an elusive “fountain of youth” said to be hidden in the lush vegetation and swampy marshes of the exotic peninsula. In pursuit of this fountain, he went on a fruitless quest. Assailed by hostile Indians, tired, and unsuccessful in his attempts to locate the precious secret, he...

Friday, December 2, 1994

All the information that has come to light regarding the deliberations, inappropriate and shocking revelations, of the secret Health Care Task Force of President Bill and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton thanks to the lawsuit, AAPS v. Clinton; and the subsequent wheeling and dealing behind closed doors of liberal democratic congressional leaders attempting to sugar-coat the Clintonian health care proposals (socialized medicine), remind me of the true story and the consequent sequence of historic events that led to the present situation concerning monetary and economic policies—e.g., an unstable weak currency, slow but chronic inflation, budget deficits, and ballooning national debt (now approaching $5 trillion)—and to the inception of an all-powerful monetary entity, the Federal Reserve System, which has been appropriately christened the “Creature from Jekyll Island” by G.E. Griffin in his magnificent exposé of the aforesaid name.(1)

Here is the shocking story: In the fall of 1910, a very secretive meeting was held on Jekyll Island, Georgia. The meeting was attended by a small cabal of banking elites who—many years later, after the fact—explained they had drafted a...

Wednesday, November 2, 1994

But what events have led us to this deplorable state of affairs with American medicine headed inexorably in the wrong direction—down the path of welfarism, collectivism, and corporatism? To answer this loaded and troublesome question, perhaps one should ponder the words of the politician par excellence, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who once admitted, “Nothing just happens in politics. If something happens, you can be sure it was planned that way.”  So, in our search for answers, let us glean and ponder the changes ushered in the 1960s by the Great Society of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

A Modern Trojan Horse

During that time, many people thought government could solve all of society’s problems. Physicians were no exception. So yes, many physicians succumbed to the allurement of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. “After all,” they asked themselves, “why not accept government payment for medical services formerly provided the indigent as charity, pro bono publico?” With the questions finally answered in the affirmative by a pragmatic leadership, physicians listened to the seductive songs of the sirens that weakened their natural defenses to government intrusion. So...

Monday, October 3, 1994

A Physician's Diagnosis

Here is an unusual book; half is a history of Western civilization and half a powerful exhortation against government control of the delivery of health care. Far from being disconnected, these two subjects are thoughtfully woven together by Dr. Miguel Faria, eminent neurosurgeon at Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, Georgia.

Dr. Faria's thesis is that a knowledge and appreciation of the hard-won lessons of history, especially the development of medical science and medical ethics over the past three millennia, are essential to solving the health care debate in which we are all embroiled today.

The scope of Vandals at the Gates of Medicine is enormous, taking the reader from the earliest civilizations in Mesopotamia and Egypt through ancient Greece, the Roman Republic, the Roman Empire, the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages to the remarkable breakthroughs of the Renaissance that started us on the road to modern medicine.

The reader emerges with a feeling of awe and gratitude for the brilliance and courage of medical pioneers who often risked (and sometimes lost) their very lives by steadfastly pursuing scientific truth...

Keyword(s): health care reform

Saturday, October 1, 1994

It is becoming abundantly clear that the mainstream liberal media and the entrenched political medical establishment support draconian gun control measures that would ultimately lead to the confiscation and banning of firearms. Driven by liberal medical journal editors, vociferous administration officials, and taxpayer subsidized, gun control-oriented research, the political establishment has propounded the Public Health/Epidemiologic model to confront the conveniently media-tagged issue of guns and violence.(1) This view espouses the erroneous concept of guns and bullets as virulent pathogens that need to be stamped out by limiting gun availability and ultimately eradicating guns from the citizenry. The only problem is that guns and bullets are inanimate objects that do not follow Koch's Postulates of pathogenicity. This is, in reality, a campaign orchestrated by gun prohibitionists and proponents of big government who are willing to exploit our understandable concern for street violence and sensationalized crime statistics to advance their agenda for an ever-increasing government, domestic socialism, and the virtual emasculation of constitutional government, that in the final...

Friday, September 2, 1994

Unless the people, through unified action, arise and take charge of their Government, they will find that their Government has taken charge of them. Independence and liberty will be gone and the general public will find itself in a condition of servitude to an aggregation of organized and selfish ambitions.

Calvin Coolidge (30th President of the U.S. [1923-1929]) and
Alfred E. Smith (Joint Statement issued October 12, 1932)

Government is not reason, it is not eloquence—it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master; never, for a moment, should it be left to irresponsible action.

George Washington (1732-1799)

A Medical Aberration

I began to wage war against the National Practitioners Data Bank (the “Data Bank” or NPDB) as soon as the mechanics, meaning, and implications of its existence became clear. I wrote a scathing editorial* outlining my objections, predictions, and suggestions.(1) Now, as events have unfolded, I am sorry to note the predictions have proven to be inauspiciously correct and many of the...

Thursday, May 5, 1994

...The last chance for a future that makes ecological sense...We thought that the one-month deadline for the writing [of this Manifesto] was impossible, that we could easily spend a year on it. But a year is about one-fifth of the time that we have left if we are going to preserve any kind of quality in our world.

The Environmental Handbook, Earth Day celebration, 1970.
Quoted 22 years later by Gary Benoit, editor of The New American, June 1, 1992.

We all want clean air, clean water, and a clean environment. And, indeed, true environmental problems abound. One only has to discern the ecological disaster brought about by the totalitarian Marxist regimes of Eastern and Central Europe over years of environmental degradation and senseless central planning: industrial air and water pollution, improper waste disposal, deforestation, even water depletion of natural water reservoirs, e.g., lakes. In fact, the fourth largest lake (the Aral Sea in the former USSR) has been largely dried up and the adjacent land turned into a wasteland from irresponsible drainage and over-irrigation. Then, there is the disastrous...