Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery but taking the painkiller.
– President Barack Obama
Welcome to the lighthouse of medical journalism, The Medical Sentinel, the official, peer-review journal of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).
The Medical Sentinel is committed to publishing scholarly articles in defense of the practice of private medicine, the tenets and principles set forth in the Oath of Hippocrates, individually-based medical ethics, and the sanctity of the patient-doctor relationship.
Don’t relax. The patient-physician relationship remains under attack on numerous fronts.
Remember how, just a year ago, we were assured that as soon as the “Contract with America” legislation was completed, Medicare reform — which would strengthen the patient-physician relationship and encourage free market initiatives — would be enacted into law? Instead, HMO-favored legislation emerged that only paid lip service to patient control of their health care dollars.
AAPS Physician Hosts Weekly Radio Show
For the past 14 months, Nino M. Camardese, MD, Founder and President of the Freedom in Medicine Foundation, has taken time from his busy private family practice in Norwalk, Ohio to broadcast a weekly radio program on the American Freedom Radio Network.
The launching of The Medical Sentinel proves once more the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) serves as the conscience, the superego, of American medical organizations. By example and by persuasion, and with the advent of this new publication, we can help liberate patients and doctors from the clutches of corporate socialized medicine.
A review of the events in health care reform in Washington State over the last decade is in order. In some respects, the health care reform debate in Washington State has mirrored that in the rest of the nation and in some respects the experience in Washington State has been quite unique and instructive.
Our first meeting to organize a state chapter of the AAPS began with no more than a handful of people. Most of those gathered in that small room had never heard of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. At least two of us had been long-time members of this tremendous organization, myself and Dr. Curtis Caine. Dr. Caine had been an AAPS member since the 1940s and was a member of the AAPS Board of Directors.
“Stop whining, Mike.” The voice belonged to J.B., a fellow Ski Patroller at Ski World Ski Area in Nashville, Indiana. It was our first duty shift of the season, and the snow was absolutely perfect, with a substantial man-made base covered by several inches of natural snowfall, a rare occurrence for southern Indiana. I had looked forward to this day for months, but now that it had arrived, I found myself in the throes of a modest depression.
“I have lots of reasons to whine,” I replied, “my life is falling apart.”
When I started medical school I was thrilled to have been chosen to pursue this time-honored profession. I was starry eyed and dazzled, looking forward to the bright future ahead. I was naïve and wanted to follow the road of my physician role-models. I hurriedly joined the AMA (the “real” doctors’ group) and the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) and received their journals. I was on my way, studying hard and joyously reaching ever closer to my goal.
It is hard for me to remember exactly when it was. I must have been somewhere around thirteen years old. My father was either in the process of dying from cancer or we had already buried him. As an adolescent trying to cope with the worst thing imaginable, time was just sort of a blur.
During 1994 and 1995, the American Health Legal Foundation’s (AHLF) efforts were focused on the case of AAPS v. Clinton. The Department of Justice finally succeeded in having the case declared moot because the White House released about 263 boxes of documents. AAPS has reviewed all that material. Legal briefs and Task Force documents are available from the AAPS. We are also encouraging Congress to initiate hearings.
I, like you, am not content to sit idly by while our profession and country is sold down the river. I think you’ll be interested in a story that I have to tell you, as it is a perfect example of why we are losing control.
MSAs — What’s Next?
Drs. John C. Goodman and Merrill Matthews of the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) writing an updated analysis on the impact of MSAs (NCPA Brief Analysis, May 1, 1997), suggest MSAs should be expanded from the ceiling of 750,000 placed by the Kassebaum-Kennedy Bill, “to meet people’s health care needs.”
Dear Dr. Faria,
The articles in the Spring 1997 issue of the Medical Sentinel by Dr. Payne on Medical Ethics in the AMA and AAPS and the commentary by Dr. Orient entitled Abortion, Euthanasia — Moral Choices? raised some very important points concerning American medicine and the future course of the AAPS.
Medical Sentinel Goes Bimonthly
We are happy to report the AAPS Board of Directors voted on Sept. 17 to authorize funding for the Medical Sentinel to be published bimonthly (six issues per year) beginning in 1998 with this issue. For the enthusiastic reception the readers have given the publication, we thank you. Editor-in-Chief
Remember the Alamo!
Physicians committed to resisting the Truman Administration’s attempt to socialize medicine formed AAPS in 1943. The government of the United States had grown by leaps and bounds as the populace yielded various and sundry freedoms to ensure the government could fight and win in World War II. Few recognized that those freedoms would never be returned. Few recognized that, indeed, war is the health of the state. The course was set for ever-expanding loss of freedom and bureaucratic bloat.
Two years ago, a small group of physicians in Ohio met and formed the Ohio Chapter of the AAPS. Our immediate first priority was to recruit members. Word of mouth brought us additional members. Next, we obtained the names and addresses of approximately 24,000 physicians in Ohio. We sent them test letters in increments of about 5000 each time, introducing ourselves and the AAPS. We changed the letter each time. The last time we informed them of the criminalization in the Kassebaum-Kennedy Bill and sent them a sample letter to send to their representatives.
A long-awaited ruling in the case of AAPS v. Clinton was handed down by Judge Royce Lamberth on December 18, 1997. The federal government was ordered to pay AAPS the sum of $285,864.78, as attorney’s fees, costs, and sanctions.
I’d like to welcome you to the 54th annual meeting of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and to set the stage for the presentations that you will hear.
I am not going to start by telling you of the glorious achievements of our Association. I cannot say that we are “taking care” of all the problems of American medicine so that you can just come to the meeting, have a jolly good time, and not worry as long as you send in your dues and say “Amen!” with one voice to the latest glossy 14- or 16-point proposal.
The article, “The Long and Short of Managed Care,” by Dr. Vernon L. Goltry is superb. There is no question everything he says is accurate. I am going to make copies of the article and pass them out to patients, since they are the ones who should know about this information.
Letter to My (New York) State Senator:
Senator Jess Present
56th Senate District
Legislative Office Building
Albany, New York 12247
Dear Senator Present:
Dear Dr. Faria,
I’m a lifetime member of the AAPS, now retired from the solo private practice of ophthalmology but active in clinical medical research.
I always enjoy articles in the Medical Sentinel written by you, [although the]...entire issue is [always]...full of useful information.
Dear Dr. Orient,
Let me just tell you how helpful the Medical Sentinel has been. The issues keep getting better and better. The July/August 1998 issue was stellar! Please keep up the good work. I’ll have to check out your website.
Michael Gloth, MD
Originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1998;3(6):196. Copyright © 1998 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).
Years of government creating crisis after crisis followed by the necessary “fixes” have created a colossal Gordian knot in U.S. medicine. Their solution: repeated government interventions and further collectivism in medicine — never mind that other socialist states have had no greater success in central planning, regulating, mandating, rationing and denying of medical care.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the Medical Sentinel. You are doing a great service to our profession by providing a vehicle for the expression of our noblest sentiments and clear, reasoned arguments in support of the principles of free, ethical medicine. In addition, it helps to keep the “fire” alive within us and bind us together....
R. Wayne Porter, MD
Dr. Robert Carlen (Medical Sentinel, Winter 1997, page 5) states regarding abortion and euthanasia, “I think AAPS should follow its own libertarian principles instead of trying to get the government to interfere with the private decisions of patients and their doctors.” Dr. Carlen’s letter was magnificently answered by Dr. Orient and Dr. Faria, and I offer the following contribution to the conversation. I believe that the open exchange of ideas on these controversial issues does not weaken AAPS, but strengthens it.
The following letter, which I sent to a young man who sought and finally achieved entrance to medical school, I think, would be of interest to the readers of the Medical Sentinel, for it reflects some of the problems we are facing today in medicine.
Congratulations on your acceptance to medical school. It is an acceptance, I think, that has been well worth your wait of three years. The great journey now begins.
It took two years of heavy lobbying in Sacramento (still remembered by many as Willie Browne’s town), but a Medical Savings Account bill sponsored by California AAPS passed on September 30, 1996. Unfortunately, political shenanigans by the Democratic leadership of the Senate have produced a very flawed bill.