Alieta Eck, MD
Article Type: 
September/October 1998
Volume Number: 
Issue Number: 

Dear Editors,

In reading a copy of the 1908 book by G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, I came across a quote that seemed applicable to today’s inattentive physician. In the chapter entitled, “The Eternal Revolution,” he states, “We may say broadly that free thought is the best of all the safeguards against freedom. Managed in a modern style, the emancipation of the slave’s mind is the best way of preventing the emancipation of the slave. Teach him to worry about whether he wants to be free, and he will not free himself.”1

May I bring this into a modern context:

Allow physicians to vent and fuss about all the horrors of managed care and government run medicine, and they will remain under their grip. They will shake their heads and walk away, feeling powerless to change their plight (never mind the plight of the poor patients) and thus not taking one practical step towards freedom in medicine. Even though both corporate and government managed care work against Hippocratic medicine, physicians will simply muddle through their day, taking little stands, but not one big stand. Keep the physicians fearful that they will die for lack of funds should they try to emancipate themselves from these systems, and the systems will thrive and expand.

I vow to do what I can to help the AAPS and the Freedom In Medicine Foundation alert the people of the perils they face as their freedoms are eroding.

Alieta Eck, MD
Piscataway, NJ


1.     Chesterton GK. Orthodoxy. Doubleday, New York, 1908 (reprinted 1990) p. 107.

Originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1998;3(5):155-156. Copyright © 1998 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).






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