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



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


Dear Dr. Ruiz, I read your letter to the AAPS Medical Sentinel, July/August 1999. I regret to inform you that not all of the Independent Medical Examiners are "hired guns." Some of them are even "honest physicians" who are truly independent. There are physicians who are well trained in the field of IME's. And they often "call it like they see it" --- not the way some insurance companies wants or even another physician wants. Actually, most of the Independent Medical Examiners that I know do not participate in medical malpractice cases. They are usually involved with work-related injuries or other accidents. Roy Blackburn, MD Fellow American Academy of Disability Evaluating Physicians Monroe, LA Correspondence originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1999;4(6);193-198. Copyright©1999...


IME


Author: Kathleen J. Burch, PsyD, RN
Article Type: Correspondence
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


Dear Dr. Faria, I obtained your address from directory assistance so that I could write to you and express my appreciation for your letter of July 23, 1999 to The Wall Street Journal. I, too, have long believed that the best way out of the current mess is to make either all or none of health care expenses tax deductible, and to end the fiction that health insurance is a free "benefit" from employers, rather than representing compensation that might be much more wisely spent if the employee were in charge of it. As a clinical psychologist in solo private practice with 30 years experience working in health care, I have witnessed the insurance-driven explosion of costs and the growth of the mistaken notion that health care insurance is necessary to obtain ordinary health care. If insurance...




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


Dear Editor, I received a call from Murray Sabrin last week. He had read the excellent letter by Dr. Miguel Faria in The Wall Street Journal and was in complete agreement. Dr. Faria wrote that physician unionization was a bad idea, and was vehemently opposed to any suggestion that a single-payer system will save the day. Murray Sabrin is an economics professor who ran for New Jersey Governor last time as a Libertarian, almost yielding Governor Christine Whitman's seat to the Democrats. Mr. Sabrin had left the Republican Party in 1972 after reading Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, and then watching President Nixon institute wage and price controls. But, this year, he realized that he could accomplish more as a winning Republican than a losing Libertarian. He rejoined the Republican Party....




Author: Twila Brase, RN
Article Type: Correspondence
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


Dear Doctors and health care practitioners, The Department of Health and Human Services just contacted our office to ask us to spread the word about the new Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank. They will shortly distribute a paper on it by e-mail which I will send out as well. Not a group that usually does the bidding of DHHS, we none-the-less felt all practitioners and patients would be interested in the latest government health care tracking database, which according to the October 30, 1998 Federal Register notice, is "a national data bank to receive and disclose certain final adverse actions against health care providers, suppliers, or practitioners." Final adverse actions include: "(1) civil judgments against a health care provider, supplier, or practitioner in Federal or...




Author: Timothy W. Wheeler, MD
Article Type: Correspondence
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


Dear Physicians, For years, organized medicine has been misusing its authority to turn the public against firearms owners. Prestigious medical journals have abandoned their usually strict peer review standards to publish junk science articles written by anti-gun activists with medical degrees. Their purpose? As one pediatrician put it, to convince Americans that 64 guns are a virus to be eradicated." Now Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership and the Claremont Institute offer the antidote to the public health establishment's skewed science. Firearms: A Handbook for Health Professionals is a 25-page booklet that distills the latest criminology research on firearms and presents it in a reader friendly format for health professionals and the general reading public. The Handbook is available...




Author: Jerry J. Krumlik, MD
Article Type: Correspondence
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


Dear Editor, I thoroughly and immensely enjoy reading your journal, and I thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. There is, however, a certain sense of futility, I have concluded, and I challenge you to prove otherwise, that anything and everything known to man is hostile to him. Including his own mind, in spite of the fact that his mind is the sole mean for his survival. To wit: if I were to suggest to you that you read a book, which I propose you would thoroughly enjoy, but which will also significantly enrich your scope of knowledge, you certainly would dismiss such an outlandish suggestion out of hand. And I mean, out of hand, not after you have looked and evaluated, but out of hand. I rest my case. The title of this book, in case you have surmounted the innate hostility of this...




Author: John S. Hoff
Article Type: Correspondence
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


Lois Copeland is a dedicated physician. She is providing courageous leadership to protect the freedom of Medicare patients and their doctors. However, her review (Medical Sentinel, July/August 1999) of Medicare Private Contracting --- Paternalism or Autonomy is ill-conceived. The statements in that review are irrelevant to the substantive issue and factually incorrect. I would have thought that Dr. Copeland would have understood the intellectual and legal support the monograph provides her effort, and welcomed it. At the very least, I would have expected Dr. Copeland to analyze the ideas discussed and presented any differing or complementary views she might have. Instead, the review essentially consists of an assertion that two statements of fact made in the monograph are not correct....




Author: Compiled by Medical Sentinel Editors
Article Type: News Capsules
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


Gramscian Strategy for Universal Coverage On the evening news, I heard Dan Rather (July 6, 1999) talk about "the health care squeeze," and how the plight of the uninsured called for more government intervention. Recalling Italian, Marxist radical Antonio Gramsci's cultural war strategy of gradual radicalization of society by changing its culture (by utilizing the arts, literature, churches, schools, newspapers, and other media organs), we should wonder if his strategy is at work here. He wrote in his Prison Notebooks that a society such as America's, imbued with individualism and a capitalist way of life, can be made to accept and be transformed into a collectivist government-dependent society with the use of mass indoctrination using the available cultural organs of society. He wrote...




Author: Lawrence R. Huntoon, MD, PhD
Article Type: News and Analysis
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


Inflammatory HCFA Notices I reviewed the "new" non-inflammatory" notices which the AMA says that they have finally convinced HCFA to use on Explanation of Medicare Benefits (EOMBs) and find that these are the very same notices our local Medicare carrier has been using for a number of years now. I fail to appreciate, however, how the "new" notice stating "The information provided does not support the need for this service or item" is any less inflammatory than the "old" term "not medically necessary." The inflammatory nature of these little notices sent to Medicare beneficiaries is compounded by the fact that they are sent to the patient before the physician is given a chance to respond or dispute Medicare's determination. Even if the physician is successful in reversing Medicare's...




Author: James P. Weaver, MD
Article Type: President's Page
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


After a long wait, we have finally heard from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in the United Seniors v. Shalala. You can read the full decision at http://www.aapsonline.org. This was to be the suit that helped establish the right of a physician to deal privately with a Medicare patient outside of the Medicare system, or to "privately contract." I must admit, however, that as I read the words in the actual decision, I was filled with disillusionment and dismay. To put it clearly, this case won the right of physicians to "privately contract" only for Medicare services that are not covered by Medicare. What a grand victory! In truth, this "victory" in nothing more than a sham, an affront to the very basic rights this nation is supposedly founded upon. These judges have "danced...




Author: Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.
Article Type: Editor's Corner
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


An article in the New Oxford Review illustrates how " 'a right to die' easily becomes 'a duty to die' once society labels some lives as not worth living." Two case histories were briefly outlined. In one instance, Harold Cybulski, visited by his family while in his hospital bed in Ontario, Canada, wakes up from a coma just as his physicians were about to " 'pull the plug and let him go.' As the grieving family filed in, Cybulski's two-year-old grandson ran ahead crying, 'Grandpa! Grandpa!' Grandpa Cybulski opened his eyes, sat up in bed, and reached down for the little boy." In another instance, 83-year-old Marjorie Nightbert had suffered a stroke and impaired of swallowing and possible aspiration, required a feeding tube. Her brother who had durable power of attorney instructed her...




Author: Curtis W. Caine, MD
Article Type: The Constitution - Plain and Simple
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


Part III of this lesson concludes our list of inferences: 26. Much of the absurd nonsense passed as liberal arts curriculum in institutions of both lower education and higher learning, blindly accepted as enlightened intellectualism (in apposition to old fogey, common, everyday horse sense) by a populace that has been deceived and brainwashed into believing the hoax that there are no moral values, right and wrong, absolute truth, marriage fidelity, oaths, sanctity of human life (abortion, euthanasia), Scripture (progressive revelation), ethics, integrity, etc. All things are relative, we are told, and must be reinterpreted "scientifically" (as if sociology bears any resemblance to quantitative science), naturally changing (and expediently changeable!) to fit the immediate circumstances (...




Author: Reviewed by Delbert H. Meyer, MD
Article Type: Book Review
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


Wesley J Smith, author of No Contest: Corporate Lawyers and the Perversion of Justice in America, opens his prologue of Forced Exit with the story of a dear friend who spent years planning her suicide and after inviting friends to the event, none of whom came, exited this life quietly. Smith, an Oakland attorney, contacted the executrix and obtained her suicide file wherein he found newsletters and other scurrilous documents from the Hemlock Society that thoroughly sickened him. This motivated Smith to research into death, the inventing of the right to die that is driving people to embrace the death culture, and euthanasia's betrayal of medicine. He finds that a society that believes in nothing can offer no argument even against death. Seen in this light, support for euthanasia is not a...




Author: Reviewed by Bert Loftman, MD
Article Type: Book Review
Issue: November/December 1999
Volume Number: 4
Issue Number: 6


Virginia Postrel's book, The Future and Its Enemies, is about the forces that create the future. The author makes some interesting points and brings unique insights that may be of interest to physicians who are attempting to understand and influence the changes occurring in our health care delivery system. However, the book has some flaws, including the author's seeming acceptance of corporate socialized medicine as the product of a normal free market. Postrel's book is logically organized into eight chapters with an excellent introduction. It is easy to read and she uses many interesting examples to make her points. The first chapter, "The One Best Way," starts out discussing a TV debate on Crossfire between a conservative and a liberal. In the debate, both of them agree on the need to...



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?