This is a commentary written in response to an article published in Surgical Neurology International and penned by the retiring neurosurgeon Dr. Clinton Frederick Miller that was highly critical of American medicine. He opines that a major overhaul, or rather overturn, of the American health care is necessary to correct the myriad of alleged abuses he perceives in the system. In his quest for reform, Dr. Miller also made a pitch toward supporting ObamaCare as a stepping stone in the implementation of socialized medicine in the US.
Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery but taking the painkiller.
– President Barack Obama
In its ongoing effort to examine controversial subjects, Surgical Neurology International (SNI) explores a recent paper on limiting life to the age of 75 by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel. Dr. Miguel Faria, an Associate Editor in Chief of SNI, in his Editorial, "Bioethics and why I hope to live beyond age 75 attaining wisdom!: A rebuttal to Dr.
With President Obama and his Democratic partisans in the Senate at loggerheads with the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives, an impasse has arisen of troubling proportions. The House, though, has the constitutional power of the purse, and the funding or defunding of the flawed ObamaCare law, unwanted by the vast majority American people, falls within its purview. The House has indeed the right not to fund a calamitous and burdensome law.
I have visited 70 countries all over the world. There is no healthcare system that provides the excellence that the USA system does. Much of what you read in the press is not true.(2) Virtually everyone in the USA can obtain healthcare; for those who are “involuntarily uninsured” the number is near 4% not the 47% that everyone quotes.(2,11) I would fully support some system to provide care for the involuntarily uninsured in any system or country.
Acquiescence is the trademark of the slave.
Aristotle (4th Century B.C.)
Miguel Faria was the Editor of The Medical Sentinel, a publication of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, which supports fundamental liberty for all people and governmental non-intervention in the Practice of Medicine. Miguel was a refugee from Cuba during the 1960s when that country was taken over by a communist revolution. He escaped with his family to the USA and went on to become a US citizen, a neurosurgeon, and a noted author of several books on history, liberty, and authoritarian governments.
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.
It was with great sadness that I learned that my friend, Dr. Miguel Faria, was stepping down as the founding editor-in-chief of the Medical Sentinel. Both Miguel and his wife Helen, the managing editor, worked tirelessly for the journal, instituting editorial policies that made it a unique, extremely valuable resource.
Jerome C. Arnett, Jr., M.D., AAPS and Editorial Board member of the Medical Sentinel, has been appointed member of the newly-formed Ethics Committee of the American College of Chest Physicians. He has already attended the first meeting in New Orleans last year and subsequent meetings this year. He will be participating in setting the tone and direction of the committee as well as its mission. We wish him our best.
Sutton's Law is a frighteningly realistic novel about where managed care might very well lead us. Or, as one of the main characters, Dr. Milton Silber aptly describes it, a system "designed by thieves for thieves."
I heartily appreciated the editorial by Dr. James Weaver entitled, "Physicians Hear This: Say Goodbye to Third-Party Payment or Die" [Medical Sentinel 1998;3(1):26-28].
"Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is a myth for some in this world. Consider a country that would limit the amount of money that certain highly trained workers could earn for doing their work no matter what their skill level. Consider a country that encouraged a non-competitive environment for only this type of worker. Consider a country that would make it a crime for these workers to privately negotiate compensation outside of a government-imposed fee structure.
Canada's Medicare for everyone has devalued doctors, patients, and the Canadian dollar. But in the U.S.A., socialist propaganda continues, like the BORG of Star Trek, "You will be assimilated!"
Patient protection from HMOs by government is fraud. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, "Government cannot avoid the due process requirements of the Constitution merely by delegating its duty to determine Medicare coverage to private entities" (Grijalva v. Shalala # 97-15877).
The obstacles to the practice of ethical, efficient, private medicine continue to grow noticeably, month by month. Illegitum non Carborundum says the sign on the bulletin board. It seems to have been overruled in Washington and countless state and corporate offices. The fatherless ones crank up new machines of torture with the added insult that I am required to finance their inquisitional torments. Their wheels grind exceedingly fine. A patient who suffered a stroke would be more comfortable with a simple tray-like armrest bolted to one arm of her wheel chair.
This article describes how the ever increasing control by third party payers of the physician-patient dyad is reinforcing family dysfunction and producing a regressive deterioration of the health care system into a system resembling that of a dysfunctional family. A component contained in both systems is a lack of respect for autonomy and individual freedom through the exercise of tyrannical control in the name of compassion and care.
The Erosion of Liberty by the Misuse of Words
It began as a simple question from the current surgical resident on my service this rotation, "Do you think I should keep going in this residency?" It was not that he was tired of the work load; residents have always worked long hours and gotten few financial rewards. It was not that he was losing interest in his medical education; if anything, medical education is now more fascinating than it was when I went through it over 20 years ago.
Freedom to contract has been the cornerstone of American prosperity. Americans have built their wealth by engaging in trillions of private transactions for the mutual benefit of all parties, as well as society at large.
The government, and those who rely on it, has always been inherently hostile to the private right to contract. Government regulators, for example, are devoted to interfering with this right in order to advance a purported governmental interest. Taxation on the proceeds from private contracts often destroys the benefits provided.
Dear Governor Pataki,
At its 1998 annual meeting, the Illinois State Medical Society House of Delegates passed a resolution opposing the criminalization of medical mistakes and supporting the cause of Gerald Einaugler, M.D. of New York. While we are most thankful that you have commuted Dr. Einaugler's sentence, we are writing today to urgently request that you grant him a full and prompt pardon.
In a recent editorial, Frank Davidoff, M.D., Editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine (AIM) and Robert D. Reinecke, M.D. of the Jefferson Medical College have called for a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to establish universal health care as a right.(1) It was trumpeted in a "Dear Health Care Colleague" letter by Ira Hellander, M.D., Executive Director of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP).(2) The Amendment would read in part, "All citizens and other residents of the United States shall have equal access to basic and essential health care."
Getting old has its problems. The only real blessing is that it usually happens slowly. For me, at 57 years of age --- I've been fortunate --- it's just really beginning to happen.
A few weeks ago, I visited my periodontist --- gum disease. I have a bad tooth near the back of my left upper teeth, and it needs some serious work. After she described the details of what she was going to do, I asked some appropriate questions including, "How much will it cost to fix that one tooth?" After a few silent moments of calculating, she calmly replied, "Oh, about $2,000."
Dear Dr. Faria,
While sitting in a doctor's office in Phoenix, Arizona, I began to read a copy of your journal. I couldn't help notice the major theme of this particular issue (July/August 1998) encompassed the outrageous behavior of various government groups, particularly the DEA. An article written by Dr. Tad Lonergan was extremely interesting, especially since I knew Dr. Lonergan personally.
I met Dr. Lonergan approximately 20 years ago in Anaheim, California when I was injured. Dr. Lonergan healed me and became my personal physician while I resided in the area.
In this essay, I propose to 'tour' the subject of privacy in our civilization, its importance and its pending destruction: Why does privacy matter? What should we expect from its destruction? Finally, does privacy in medical matters have a special significance? I will draw the conclusions that privacy is an extension of property rights; that respect for privacy, a bourgeois concept, is inherent in the success of our civilization and necessary for a thriving middle class. A thriving middle class represents the essence of Western civilization.
With the widespread implementation of "Clinical Pathways" and with so many to choose from, how can the discerning physician make the right choice? Hospital CEOs, managed care moguls, and integrated delivery gurus are all hawking their own special version of clinical pathways. But a cookbook is a cookbook is a cookbook...right? Well, if that's what you think, then you haven't seen the ClinicMaster 2000.
I'm late at writing this "message." It has been almost too difficult to sit at my computer and compose my thoughts. I feel like a traitor might who is considering betraying his mother country, because I am going to warn college students, who might be thinking about a career in Medicine, of the many dangers to their life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness that medical practice will hold for them.
Earlier this year, INS agents discovered 75 Chinese immigrants cramped inside cargo containers stacked among a thousand other containers on ships docked in Los Angeles, Long Beach and Seattle. These people endured a two to three week trip in a box the size of a tractor-trailer, with a tarp on top with holes punched in it so they could breathe. The air was thick with the stench of overflowing barrels of waste that served as toilets during this horrible ordeal. They survived on only crackers and water, in the dark and the stink, and were at great risk should anything happen at sea.
Letter to David M. Lawrence, MD
Chairman and CEO
Dear Dr. Lawrence,
Would health care be safer with control like air traffic (as you suggested at Town Hall in November --- or with self-managed medical savings accounts?
The contents of your article "Slouching Towards a Duty to Die" (Medical Sentinel 1999;4(6):208-210) are so sad, unfortunately. The article is superb and accurate.
I have been in solo practice now for over 45 years. I still make house calls. Beyond that I oversee three active educational foundations and do radio and television programs, as you know, to halt unlawful government, and preserve our foundations of liberty and the ethics of Hippocrates.