Doctors and Guns (Part I) — A Failure of the Public Health Model (November/December 2000)



Author: David C. Stolinsky, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue: November/December 2000
Volume Number: 5
Issue Number: 6


Is America the most violent nation on earth? Those who blame this country for most of the ills of the world would have us believe so. They frequently refer to high rates of homicide and suicide, though they rarely cite actual data. But before fear impels us to shred the Bill of Rights, we should determine whether our fear has a factual basis. The accompanying table below gives suicide and homicide rates for all 86 nations for which data are available. Rates are per 100,000 population and come from the United Nations 1996 Demographic Yearbook published in 1998.(1) Note that the latest U.S. suicide rate (for 1997) is 11.4, slightly below the 11.9 listed, while the 1997 U.S. homicide rate is 7.3, far below the 9.4 listed here. Figures exceeding published U.S. figures are starred, while...




Author: Timothy Wheeler, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue: November/December 2000
Volume Number: 5
Issue Number: 6


By now it is an all too familiar nightmare. Violent armed robbers take over a restaurant, terrorizing employees and customers. The predators herd the hapless victims into a refrigerator with the intention of killing them. Shots are fired, and the gruesome disaster ends. Wait. This isn't the story of a Wendy's restaurant in New York City last week. It is the eerily similar drama played out in a Shoney's restaurant in Anniston, Alabama in 1991. But this story had a just, if not exactly happy ending. That time, it was the criminals, not the good guys, who were shot. In nearly identical scenarios --- the violent takeover of a restaurant by armed criminals --- one outcome was a hideous tragedy, and the other a triumph of courage. The difference in results was no...




Author: James A. Albright, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue: November/December 2000
Volume Number: 5
Issue Number: 6


In regard to the deleterious changes that have taken place in the field of medicine, the regulatory agencies that have had the most damaging effect on the Constitution are the FDA and HCFA. Indeed, the history of the government's involvement in medical care provides a textbook example of the natural history of a command (a managed or collective) economy. In a command economy, power is centralized, which means it is an authoritarian system. Furthermore, when power is centralized, rules and regulations to control the system, particularly costs, inevitably become increasingly oppressive, due to the lack of incentives for self-control that exist in a market economy. For example, most physicians know that the measures implemented by the government (HCFA) to control Medicare have become more...


FDA


Author: Grover G. Norquist
Article Type: Editorial
Issue: November/December 2000
Volume Number: 5
Issue Number: 6


There are two competing coalitions in American politics today that are organized around how one views the relationship between the individual and the state. In the past, the Republican and Democrat parties had within them a broad ideological range. Regional differences --- North vs. South --- and religious and immigrant status had a great deal to say about whether one viewed himself as a Republican or Democrat. The Roosevelt coalition held together in the Democrat party a solid South with ethnic immigrants and Catholics in northern cities. But starting in the 1970s, the two parties and the liberal and conservative coalitions that surround them began to separate out along lines of policy rather than region or ethnicity. The Reagan Republican party and conservative movement can best be...




Author: Greg Scandlen
Article Type: Editorial
Issue: November/December 2000
Volume Number: 5
Issue Number: 6


The Medical Savings Account (MSA) pilot program expires at the end of this year unless Congress acts soon to extend it. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) allowed small employers and the self-employed to set up a tax-favored savings account to pay for routine medical expenses, provided they also have an insurance plan that meets some very specific requirements. The requirements include a very narrow range of allowable deductibles and strict limits on other cost-sharing provisions and MSA contributions. The limitations and restrictions make the program needlessly complex and hard to understand for both insurance brokers and customers. And the fact that the pilot program was limited to four years, and available only to a small segment of the insurance...


MSA


Author: Richard W. Stevens, Esq.
Article Type: Commentary
Issue: November/December 2000
Volume Number: 5
Issue Number: 6


Suppose a Hollywood star or a political figure publicly announced that he or she favored making all women and families helpless and defenseless against vicious thugs. Would women cheer and vow their undying support for that person? Yet if you believe the published polls and the media news showmen, then it's true: women actually want to be defenseless. Many women don't want to be able to protect themselves or their families from crazies, druggies, violent ex-boyfriends, rapists, home invaders and stalkers. What's more, these women want to prevent other women from protecting themselves, too. When some women say they want more "gun control," they are actually saying they want to make it harder for other peace-loving women to obtain personal and home defense tools. All current and proposed "...




Author: Doug Fiedor
Article Type: Commentary
Issue: November/December 2000
Volume Number: 5
Issue Number: 6


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published their annual death statistics. And, a funny thing happened on the way to the coroner's office: Gunshot business is down yet again. "Overall, 30,708 people died of firearms in 1998, a 5 percent drop from 1997 and a 22 percent drop from the high of 39,595 in 1993. The age-adjusted death rate from firearms was 11.3 deaths per 100,000 population in 1998, a 7.4 percent drop from 12.2 in 1997 and down sharply from the high of 15.6 in 1993." These are strange statistics, actually. Those on the far left are about to have a fit because these government reports make liars out of them. Every state that instituted concealed carry firearms laws immediately noticed a measurable decrease in death by firearms. This is enough to drive the...




Author: Miguel A. Faria, Jr., MD
Article Type: Commentary
Issue: November/December 2000
Volume Number: 5
Issue Number: 6


In public pronouncements, Attorney General Janet Reno's Justice Department and other administration officials have implied erroneously that the Second Amendment refers to a collective right rather than an individual right. Never mind that when James Madison, the father of the Constitution, wrote --- "The advantage that Americans have over every other nation is that they are armed," and Patrick Henry proclaimed, "The great objective is that every man be armed; everyone who is able may have a gun" --- they were elucidating the Second Amendment referred to an individual right rather than a collective right. The same Congress that passed the Bill of Rights (with the Second Amendment) also passed the Militia Act of 1790, which defined the militia as "every able bodied man of military age."...




Author: Katharine C. Otto, MD
Article Type: Correspondence
Issue: November/December 2000
Volume Number: 5
Issue Number: 6


Dear Editor, We already have national health insurance. It is called Medicare. In just a few short years, you will reap all the rewards and suffer all the consequences of this system, because you essentially have no other options. Every year, Medicare costs more and delivers less. Medicare beneficiaries already reap five times more from this system than they pay in. Don't expect Medicare to save you when you reach retirement age. With both Republicans and Democrats now advocating prescription drug benefits, we are looking at double or triple costs, no matter what they tell you. Anyone who dares to speak against this brainchild of President Clinton is accused of being against old, sick people. But it's easy to care with other people's money. Clinton knows this better than anyone. In his...




Author: Edgar Suter, MD
Article Type: Correspondence
Issue: November/December 2000
Volume Number: 5
Issue Number: 6


Dear Editor, Just to illustrate from personal experience that British laws are a bit out of hand...I recently traveled to Greece, and had a short layover in Heathrow Airport in England. While there, I was detained, searched, and questioned by MP5 (machine gun) carrying officers because my keychain was considered a dangerous and illegal weapon by the British government. (Any of you familiar with a Kubaton keychain will immediately recognize the awesome power and obvious threat made by this heinous weapon of mass destruction....) They confiscated the "weapon" to be destroyed (that's one less keychain to menace the world and frighten children), and I narrowly made my connecting flight only due to my incomparable charms in convincing an airline attendant to hold the plane until I could get...




Author: R. Thorne, MD
Article Type: Correspondence
Issue: November/December 2000
Volume Number: 5
Issue Number: 6


Dear Editor, Thank you very much for the Medical Sentinel e-mail press releases. It is very good to see an honest journal telling the truth about the decline of medicine in our socialist state. I am proud to be a member of AAPS. R. Thorne, MD Kinnelon, NJ Correspondence originally published in the Medical Sentinel 2000;5(6);185-187. Copyright©2000 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).




Author: Steven Jay Strober, MD
Article Type: The Constitution - Plain and Simple
Issue: November/December 2000
Volume Number: 5
Issue Number: 6


Dear Editor, In the July/August issue of the Medical Sentinel, Curtis Caine, M.D. makes the statement (in his article, "Part IV: The Practice of Medicine is Not an Industry," pp. 141-142) that the Constitution of the U.S. forbids the federal government from interfering with the practice of medicine and the Constitution makes inviolable the sacred contract between a patient and his physician. I checked his references to the Constitution and found the following: In Article I, Section 8, the next paragraph is the only reference to science that I could find is the following: Article I, Section 8, Clause 8: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries"; and in...




Author: Curtis W. Caine, MD
Article Type: The Constitution - Plain and Simple
Issue: November/December 2000
Volume Number: 5
Issue Number: 6


Dear Dr. Strober, I am delighted to receive your correspondence of July 16 for at least three reasons: 1) if one person has read Part IV of the "Industry" column, maybe others have too; 2) my veracity is being checked (I am tempted, on occasion, to intentionally make an error just to see if someone catches it!); and 3) it is encouraging to find that of 260 million U.S. citizens, at a minimum, two own a copy of and are conversant with the Constitution. Hooray --- there is hope for America! You address two matters: A) government in medicine, and B) the patient/physician contract. A. You properly quoted Article I, Section 8, paragraph 8 having to do with patents and copyright, but Section 8 has eighteen paragraphs that delegate the specific areas in which the creating States authorized their...




Author: Compiled by Medical Sentinel Editors
Article Type: News Capsules
Issue: November/December 2000
Volume Number: 5
Issue Number: 6


On the Frontiers of Science "A few weeks ago, Governor George Bush delayed the execution of a Texas inmate so that DNA evidence could be reviewed. That review backfired, providing additional evidence that the inmate was, indeed, guilty. University of Utah Professor Paul G. Cassell had this observation about all the death-penalty yada-yada: " Avowed opponents of the death penalty caught the attention of Al Gore among others when they released a report purporting to demonstrate that the nation's capital punishment system is 'collapsing under the weight of its own mistakes.' Contrary to the headlines written by some gullible editors, however, the report proves nothing of the sort. ...Indeed, missing from the media coverage was the most critical statistic: After reviewing 23 years of capital...




Author: Lawrence R. Huntoon, MD, PhD
Article Type: President's Page
Issue: November/December 2000
Volume Number: 5
Issue Number: 6


The history of "King HCFA" is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of absolute Tyranny over physicians and the practice of medicine in these United States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. "King HCFA" has refused his assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good via administration of an unConstitutional government program. "King HCFA" has implemented a plethora of contradictory and confusing regulations and attached horrendous threats for the sole purpose of controlling the practice of medicine and forcing physicians into compliance. "King HCFA" has obstructed justice and repeatedly violated Due Process rights of physicians by accusing physicians of spurious "crimes" and considering...



It is now legend the AAPS legally lanced the secret task force and pulled its secrets...into the sunshine. It destoyed the Health Security Act.


The Oath of Hippocrates
and the Transformation of Medical Ethics Through Time


Patients within a managed care system have the illusion there exists a doctor-patient relationship...But in reality, it is the managers who decide how medical care will be given.


Judicial activism...the capricious rule of man rather than the just rule of law.


The largest single problem facing American medicine today is the actions of government...


The lessons of history sagaciously reveal wherever governments have sought to control medical care and medical practice...the results have been as perverse as they have been disastrous.


Children are the centerpiece of the family, the treasure (and renewal) of countless civilizations, but they should not be used flagrantly to advance political agendas...


Prejudice against gun ownership by ordinary citizens is pervasive in the public health community, even when they profess objectivity and integrity in their scientific research.


The infusion of tax free money into the MSA of the working poor give this population tax equity with wealthier persons...


It was when Congress started dabbling in constitutionally forbidden activities that deficit spending produced a national debt!


Does the AMA have a secret pact with HCFA?


The lure of socialism is that it tells the people there is nothing they cannot have and that all social evils will be redressed by the state.


Canada's fatal error — Health Care as a Right!


The Cancer Risk from Low Level Radiation: A Review of Recent Evidence...


...Moreover, the gun control researchers failed to consider and underestimated the protective benefits of firearms.


Vandals at the Gates of Medicine — Have They Been Repulsed or Are They Over the Top?