Futility of Care and the “Duty to Die” (November/December 1999)



Author: Russell L. Blaylock, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


There are a growing number of clinicians and basic scientists who are convinced that a group of compounds called excitotoxins play a critical role in the development of several neurological disorders including migraines, seizures, infections, abnormal neural development, certain endocrine disorders, neuropsychiatric disorders, learning disorders in children, AIDS dementia, episodic violence, lyme borreliosis, hepatic encephalopathy, specific types of obesity, and especially the neurodegenerative diseases, such as ALS, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, and olivopontocerebellar degeneration.(1) An enormous amount of both clinical and experimental evidence has accumulated over the past decade supporting this basic premise.(2) Yet, the FDA still refuses to...




Author: Conrad F. Meier
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


Approximately 2.5 million people in the U.S. --- about 1 percent of the population --- suffer from pre-existing medical conditions making it likely their future medical expenses will be extremely high. While private insurers are ill-equipped to serve this population, 28 state governments play a positive role by chartering non-profit health insurance plans, or HIPs. In order to keep premiums affordable, HIPs are often authorized to impose a small assessment on the premiums earned by private insurers. Capping HIP premiums at no more than 125 to 135 percent of standard individual insurance premiums appears to be a "best practice" for keeping HIPs affordable. HIPs accomplish the social goal of assuring access to quality medical care for those who need it, without the disruptions and negative...




Author: Richard M. Salsman
Article Type: Editorial
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


Socialized medicine has produced cowering medical bureaucrats who have to turn to capitalist doctors for help. Boris Yeltsin's heart operation and treatment demonstrate how this happens. But rational, independent doctors are now also vanishing from American medicine, as socialism threatens to destroy what was once among the most noble and free professions in this country. One vital fact was omitted in the news accounts about the success of Boris Yeltsin's recent heart surgery: the failure of socialized medicine. And this fact underscores the question of whether America's health-care policies are courting a similar failure. Competent physicians with specialized technical skills are scarce in Russia. Yeltsin, because of his privileged position, had access to qualified cardiologists --- an...




Author: Peter J. Ferrara
Article Type: Editorial
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


A new Republican health care proposal, spearheaded by Rep. Tom Bliley (R-VA), would greatly expand freedom of choice and control by workers and consumers over their health coverage and care. This idea would be far more effective in helping patients than federal regulatory proposals masquerading under the label of a patient bill of rights, which would actually reduce the freedom of choice of patients in some ways. The Health Mart Proposal Health Marts would be co-ops of workers, employers, insurers, and consumers. Instead of picking the health insurer for all the company's workers, the employer would sign up with a Health Mart. The Health Marts would offer workers a wide range of health coverage choices --- HMOs, traditional insurance companies, Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) and others...


HMO, MSA


Author: Jane M. Orient, MD
Article Type: Editorial
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


In normal times, the relationship between patient and physician has been based on an implicit, voluntary understanding or contract. Is it possible that a physician's relationship with a Medicare-eligible patient must now be codified in a legal document meeting narrow specifications defined by the federal government? And can it be in these United States of America that such a relationship is altogether forbidden unless (a) the physician swears to forgo all reimbursement from the only insurer of the patient population in greatest need of his services or (b) the service provided is "unnecessary" but not "unwarranted?" The absurd state of affairs with Medicare is highlighted by a series of remarkable occurrences: In 1997, Congress enacted a law (Section 4507 of the Balanced Budget Act) to...




Author: Pat Flanagan, MD
Article Type: Commentary
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


In his article, "You Copy That?" (Medical Sentinel, July/August 1999), P. Gardner Goldsmith discusses some serious concerns about human cloning (HC) and the intrinsic legal aspects that may be relative under constitutional law. In regards to the latter issue discussion is pointed to DNA donation as being pertinent to inalienable rights of property. This is the first issue I will dispense with. Under this aspect of private property protection, he presupposes that DNA donation can be legally safeguarded under the penumbra of the right of private property, an inalienable right considered irrevocable under our country's Constitution. Private property is indeed inalienable. Agreed. A fortiori, even without the benefit of them being written down on parchment, all rights of life, liberty and...




Author: Lawrence Cranberg, MD
Article Type: Commentary
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


An eminent medical scientist, Prof. Emil J. Freireich of the University of Texas Cancer Center of the M. D. Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas, tossed off casually over lunch a few months ago the comment, "Of course we are immortal. All we have to do is eliminate all the causes of death." At the time, I dismissed the remark as a truism that reflected Dr. Freireich's characteristic, bubbling optimism, and thought no more about it. But it recurred to me later when I asked myself if advanced age was in fact a certifiable cause of death. The World Almanac lists the ten leading causes of death, which account for 85 percent of all deaths, and sure enough, age is not among them. Indeed, it is not on any of the more comprehensive lists of causes of death in the U.S. Statistical Abstract. We can...




Author: Lawrence R. Huntoon, MD, PhD
Article Type: Medical Ethics and Managed Care
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


It is no coincidence that the debate over physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia has arisen at a time when managed care has been forced on employees and socialized medicine is being surreptitiously implemented in a piecemeal fashion in our country. There has been increasing talk of a "right to die" and of "death with dignity." Marching close behind those who insist on the "right to die" are those who feel it would be in society's best interest to create a duty to die. Author of Forced Exit: The Slippery Slope From Assisted Suicide to Legalized Murder, Wesley J. Smith notes "something frightening is happening to American medical ethics."(1) Indeed it is. Doctors overriding the patient's and family's wishes by putting a DNR on a nursing home patient's chart, feeding tubes being...




Author: Press Release of August 30, 1999
Article Type: Correspondence
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


The following press release was aired on August 30, 1999: With the increasing politicization of published scientific and medical research, e.g., gun and violence research, HIV-AIDS health policy, and now more recently, the unintended consequences of mandatory vaccinations (i.e., Hepatitis B and diarrhea due to rotavirus infection, etc.) in infants, the Medical Sentinel, the peer-reviewed journal of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is announcing a new policy with the upcoming (September/October 1999) issue of the Medical Sentinel. As consideration of publication in the Medical Sentinel, the authors of clinical and scientific papers submitted to the Medical Sentinel must make available on the Internet the redacted raw data associated with their papers. The data...




Author: Jim Williamson
Article Type: Correspondence
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


Dear Editor, I was extremely pleased and impressed that your publication has adopted "public review" as a way of forcing the real truth out in medical and other scientific research. It has long been time for bogus, government-sponsored results to be challenged. As an officer of a leading Republican organization in Georgia, newspaper publisher, and concerned citizen let me know how I can help you further.... Jim Williamson Smyrna, GA Correspondence originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1999;4(6);193-198. Copyright©1999 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).




Author: Russ Fine, PhD, MSPH
Article Type: Correspondence
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


Dear Editor, My most sincere congratulations to you and the Medical Sentinel for the promulgation of a courageous, open, intellectually honest and "disarming" policy. I challenge any and all other medical and scientific journals to adopt this cutting edge policy...one that can only foster intellectual integrity and blaze the trail for the eventual elimination of the junk science that litters the scientific landscape and pollutes the well of honest, scientific discourse. Russ Fine, PhD, MSPH Prof. of Medicine and Director Injury Control Research Center Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, AL Correspondence originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1999;4(6);193-198. Copyright©1999 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).




Author: Sebastian
Article Type: Correspondence
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


Dear Dr. Faria, A gold star for the Medical Sentinel's new policy requiring public access to supporting data. I appreciate your policy that is an obvious requirement to maintain journalistic credibility and the scientific method. Thank you. Sebastian Research Director, 99-X Radio / WNNX-FM Atlanta, GA Correspondence originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1999;4(6);193-198. Copyright©1999 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).




Author: Prof. Gary Kleck
Article Type: Correspondence
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


Dear Editors, I found this initiative very interesting. It parallels efforts by me and others within the American Society of Criminology to include in its new Code of Ethics the requirement that researchers make their data available to other scholars once findings are published. Do you have a copy of the Congressional Shelby Provision that you mentioned? If so, could you send me a copy, or if not, direct me to where I could find one? Thanks. Prof. Gary Kleck School of Criminology and Criminal Justice Florida State University Tallahassee, FL Correspondence originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1999;4(6);193-198. Copyright©1999 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).




Author: Andrew L. Schlafly, Esq.
Article Type: Correspondence
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


Dear Editors, Most of you are already familiar with the controversy over public access to federally-funded research data. In a nutshell, Senator Shelby inserted a two-sentence requirement into PL 105-277 last fall that permits public access to federally-funded research data under FOIA guidelines. We all support the Senator Shelby requirement, and submitted comments early this year when the OMB issued its proposed regulations. Sunshine is a disinfectant, and public access to such data minimizes corruption, mistakes, and fraud concerning such data. For example, the tragedy of the rotavirus vaccine would never have happened if the public had access to the data used by the FDA and CDC in recommending the vaccine. I have been studying the reports and have concluded that the FDA and CDC...




Author: Nelson Borelli, MD
Article Type: Correspondence
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


Dear Editor, Dr. John E. Gardella's article "The Cost-Effectiveness of Killing: An Overview of Nazi 'Euthanasia' " (Medical Sentinel, July/August 1999) puts American physicians on notice with respect to a future Nuremberg doctor's trial. American medicine, like Nazi medicine, does not operate under the Nuremberg code of ethics "which emphasized the primacy of the informed, voluntary consent of the patient in governing physician behavior," as Dr. Gardella correctly states. American Medicine continues to endorse the practice of involuntary treatment of the "mentally ill." Incidentally, that treatment should be read between the same quotation marks as the Nazi's "treatment" of patients in the gas chambers of the Brandenburg psychiatric hospital. American Medicine continues to blindly accept...



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?