Medical Sentinel

Kathryn A. Serkes
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 3
Volume Number: 2
Summer 1997

READY:   Your lip glistens with sweat. Your hands shake. AIM:        Your mouth goes dry. Your mind goes blank. FIRE!       Some reporter poised with a notebook thinking he’s Mike Wallace is about to stick a microphone in your face and pull the trigger. You’ve just been led in front of the media firing squad! Sooner or later, you will be called on to “meet the press.” Even if you haven’t been subjected to the media spotlight, you’re interested in getting more positive publicity for physicians or responding to some politician’s tirade on Medicare and those greedy doctors. If you aren’t prepared to use any and all media encounters as an opportunity to tell your story or actively seek media coverage, you can be sure...


Russell L. Blaylock, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 6
Volume Number: 3
November/December 1998

French social critic Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) once said, “The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended.”(1) During much of the history of our republic, our intellectuals and those who digest these ideas for consumption by the general public, did a poor job of defending the basic foundations of our freedom. Until the sixties, it was taken for granted that private property, absolute moral principles, and free enterprise were desirable. But, while these things were based on a foregone conclusion, few were adequately prepared to defend these ideas against the modern liberal intellectual assault. The left saw this as a great weakness to be exploited primarily by attacking these institutions in the universities and colleges,...


Thomas A. Dorman, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 6
Volume Number: 3
November/December 1998

Increasing Regulation In recent times, we have experienced a hyperbolic increase in regulations affecting all walks of life. Medicine has taken center stage under Hillary. The on-again, postponed-again Billary national health reform cooked in secret (and illegal)(1) conclaves has produced the effect we now understand is the desired one — anxiety, agitation, a high level of uncertainty, namely cognitive dissonance. In this state of collective nervous exhaustion, any solution will be received as welcome relief. Freedom is waning. The Billary solution was the Jackson Hole proposal.(2) This instrument of socialism is managing the population's health, fecundity, and longevity through leveraged control. In time, they will control everyone; the health care providers and the complex of hospital,...


Arthur B. Robinson, PhD, Sallie L. Baliunas, PhD, Willie Soon, PhD, and Zachary W. Robinson
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 5
Volume Number: 3
September/October 1998

This article originally appeared in the Medical Sentinel 1998;3(5):171-178. It has been revised, updated, and published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons 2007;12(3):79-90. Copyright ©1996-2010 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. The following link is provided to the JPANDS.org website where the article can be viewed and/or downloaded in PDF format: www.jpands.org/vol12no3/robinson.pdf


Jane M. Orient, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 3
Volume Number: 3
May/June 1998

I’d like to welcome you to the 54th annual meeting of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and to set the stage for the presentations that you will hear. I am not going to start by telling you of the glorious achievements of our Association. I cannot say that we are “taking care” of all the problems of American medicine so that you can just come to the meeting, have a jolly good time, and not worry as long as you send in your dues and say “Amen!” with one voice to the latest glossy 14- or 16-point proposal. The Association was founded in 1943 to fight socialized medicine. We have hardly won that battle, and in my opinion, we have not yet begun to fight. The fight will not be easy or safe. Throughout the next three days, I ask you to consider a question that was formally...

Tags: AAPS

Merrill Matthews, Jr., PhD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 3
Volume Number: 3
May/June 1998

Despite a new government study showing that the rising cost of premiums is the main reason a growing number of people don’t have health insurance, more than 200 members of Congress have cosponsored legislation that would make health insurance even more expensive. “The Patient Access to Responsible Care Act” (PARCA), introduced by Sen. Alfonse D’Amato (R-NY) and Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-GA), claims to be a consumer protection bill. It is supposed to improve the access to and quality of American health care, while making health plans, health insurers and self-insured employers more accountable and responsible. But a new analysis by the actuarial firm Milliman & Robertson demonstrates that PARCA will make health insurance more expensive — for some people, prohibitively expensive. Based on...


Conrad F. Meier
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 3
Volume Number: 3
May/June 1998

Not so long ago Americans spoke up and rejected a government takeover of our health care system. Today many federal and state legislators, regardless of their political stripes, are passing feel-good legislation in an effort to demonstrate politically correct compassion. A Republican Congress and Democratic White House are inching toward many of the massive objectives put forth by the Clinton Health Care Task Force. This time there is no formal plan and very little media coverage, but there is a step-by-step agenda. Step One: Integrated Health Care Networks  WHAT CLINTON WANTED: Health plans were to form integrated networks of hospitals and doctors at a fixed price. WHAT CLINTON GOT: Community hospitals are selling out to giant corporations, destroying a valued community resource and...


Terree P. Wasley
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 2
Volume Number: 3
March/April 1998

Ninety-six year old Elsie Rittman of Tucson, Arizona needed the services of a physician, but was told by the doctor she contacted that he couldn’t afford to take on any more Medicare patients. When she offered to pay him out of her own pocket, she was told it was illegal to spend her own money to see the doctor of her choice. Mrs. Rittman wrote Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, “I find it hard to believe I can’t spend my money to see the doctor I want. Please write me a letter that tells him that it is legal for me to pay him for the services I want without using my Medicare.” Secretary Shalala responded to Mrs. Rittman that HHS could not give her physician legal permission to accept payment directly from her, and warned that any agreement between her and the doctor would...


Donald J. Palmisano, MD, JD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 2
Volume Number: 3
March/April 1998

The Hippocratic Oath — Is it relevant today or does it belong in the scrap heap of history’s discarded relics? I submit it is relevant today. I submit it is a touchstone that offers a moral compass — an ethical framework — for navigation through these times of crisis. In short, it is the soul of medicine. I submit that the longevity of this Oath is compelling evidence that it is not a frivolous collection of words. Why is it so enduring? I believe it is deemed of value because it offers core values defined specifically, not generally; advice that leaves little room for equivocation or misunderstanding. It does not say in general terms only that a physician should be good or ethical without further explanation of what those terms mean. It is a model of inductive reasoning; it goes from the...


Thomas A. Dorman, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 4
Volume Number: 2
Fall 1997

Misuse of Words Words serve us for communication. Contemporary philosophy has become one of semantics verbalized prominently by Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) with the concepts that words have meaning but also a penumbra of meanings, so there is overlap and merging of meanings. Although he accepted words have an umbra of meaning, his interest was in the melding and this reflects contemporary times. (Does his concept that sentences are literally pictures have an echo in the teaching of whole language?) In contrast, we should observe the suppressed philosophy of our age, that of Ayn Rand. A concept is a mental integration of two or more units possessing the same distinguishing characteristic(s), with their particular measurements omitted.(1) Here we see a clear-cut analysis of the tools of...

Tags: consensus

Thomas R. Spencer, Jr., Esq.
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 1
Volume Number: 1
Spring 1996

The Washington Park Police were swift in concluding that the death of Vince Foster was a suicide. The gun utilized was a 1913 Colt made up from parts of two separate weapons. No fingerprints were found. No one in the family could identify it, nor could matching ammunition be found anywhere. Oddly, Foster somehow managed to walk 700 feet into the park without picking up a trace of soil on his shoes. The bullet made an exit wound of 1 inch by 1 1/4 inches in the back of his head, yet no skull fragments or brain matter was ever found. No one could explain nor identify the carpet fibers on Foster's clothes. Six months earlier, in January of 1993, the Clinton Administration had just begun. Foster prepared a legal Memorandum to Hillary Clinton outlining a methodology by which she could bypass...


Jane M. Orient, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 1
Volume Number: 1
Spring 1996

Reasons for the Outcomes Revolution in Medicine Government-developed practice guidelines were described as “nothing less than the beginning of a peaceful revolution in American medicine” by James O. Mason, MD, HHS Assistant Secretary of Health.(1) Arnold Relman, former editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, called the “outcomes movement” with its associated guidelines “the third revolution in medical care.”(2) Articles in prestigious medical journals assume that practice guidelines are “a new reality.”(3) The AMA already offers the Directory of Practice Parameters, complete with three updates, for sale ($99 for members, $149 for nonmembers).(4) The “revolution,” if it occurs, is unlikely to involve voluntary adoption of the guidelines by clinicians. Only 20% of medical...


Hilton P. Terrell, MD, PhD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 1
Volume Number: 1
Spring 1996

I cannot remember a medical world without guidelines. Algorithms and “work-ups” have permeated my reading from day one and I have grown to like them. They are a helpful kind of pre-thinking and can lead to efficiency in practice. I’m hearing more and more about guidelines and, despite my fond experience with them, I’m having an adverse reaction to what I hear. Suspicion.  Why suspicion? We have all experienced Newspeak. “Contributions” to Social Security sound like the kind we make to church or charities. To date, however, neither church nor charity have required employers to deduct them from our wages under heavy penalty for nonperformance, nor will we be arrested for failure to contribute. Yet, they remain “contributions.” In like fashion, might practice “guidelines” become...


James P. Weaver, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 1
Volume Number: 1
Spring 1996

Medical care delivery is currently undergoing rapid pivotal changes in this country. Since the defeat of the Clinton national health plan, the “market” has taken over and managed care has become the sweetheart of the health care reformers. Believed by politicians, businesses, and patients alike, to be the answer to rising medical costs, it is being welcomed by all with zealous advocacy. As potentially important as this movement may be to these groups, however, there is one group to whom these changes may mean its very demise, the physicians. Yes, the survival of physicians as professionals is at stake in this economic imbroglio. Caught in the middle of this revolution, physicians are choosing sides and making decisions which will influence what society thinks of them and what they think...

Tags: managed care

Russell L. Blaylock, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 1
Volume Number: 1
Spring 1996

Most of us who have examined the managed care system have spoken about the evils of “corporate medicine.” We have done this because the managed care system is set up, to all intents and purposes, as a corporation. But, a recent article appearing in Transaction Social Science and Modern Society changed my thinking about this most important subject.(1) The article was written by Caroline Poplin, a graduate of the Yale Law School as well as a practicing internist. I would encourage all concerned doctors, as well as persons considering entering a managed care system, to carefully read this article. The article is probably the most incisive, thoughtful, and honest appraisal of managed care systems I have seen in print. What makes it especially important is its honesty. While agreeing with the...



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?