The Medical Sentinel — A Breath of Fresh Air by Miguel A. Faria, Jr., MD

A History of Censorship

I was struck that particular morning when I heard on the radio from Paul Harvey (and later CNN) that on January 15th, the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), George D. Lundberg, M.D., had been fired by the AMA for using JAMA for his own political purposes. The chickens had come home to roost, I thought. When in March 1994, we published a series of articles debunking many of the fallacies that have been published in the medical literature regarding public health and gun control (including JAMA and The New England Journal of Medicine) and thoroughly documenting the beneficial aspects of gun ownership in the hands of law abiding citizens,(1) without having even read the articles, Dr. Lundberg commented: “The Georgia articles are contrary to virtually all recognized, publicly published research regarding firearms in our society. My belief is a careful analysis of their [data] and methods will show it to be flawed.”(2) So much for objectivity, the liberalizing thought about the free flow and exchange of ideas, and the eternal quest for scientific truth!

In 1991 when the AMA launched a major campaign against domestic violence, I joined in this campaign as a member of organized medicine, although admittedly, with significant skepticism. What I found over the next four years, particularly after I became editor of the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia (JMAG) was that instead of providing a balanced and honest approach to socioeconomic and political issues based on truth and objectivity, as would be required by professional, objective medical journals in which physicians, policy makers, and the public placed a great deal of trust and credibility — medical journals, such as JAMA and other AMA literature, state medical journals, and even NEJM, echoed the emotionalism, rhetoric, and political correctness (and particularly so with fashionable and trendy issues) championed by the mass media.(3)

Despite the expressed sentiments and wishes of the vast majority of physicians, including rank-and-file, dues-paying members of the AMA, who wanted to preserve the ethics and tradition inherent to the Oath of Hippocrates, AMA leaders prodded by medical journal editors were spearheading efforts in health care reform in the opposite direction. That direction was (and is) headed away from the tradition of Hippocrates — i.e., a tradition based on beneficence and the independent practice of private medicine — and toward more managed care, corporativist (collectivist) ethics, further government intrusion, and step-by-step socialization of the entire medical care system.(3)

During 1995 alone, three medical editors (who I know personally) lost their jobs at their respective publications because of their conservative leanings and their audacity to publish and to express in writing views that went against the tide of liberal opinion and political correctness, including constructive criticism of organized medicine and the AMA; harsh denunciations of the ethics and practice of managed care; and debunking the junk science of gun control promoted by “researchers” in public health and disseminated in JAMA and other “respected” AMA medical journals. I know because I was one of them!

Dr. Lundberg — Editor of JAMA (1982-1999)

Dr. Lundberg had been editor of JAMA for 17 years. He had hoped to break the record set by his great predecessor Morris Fishbein, M.D., the prolific, outspoken, long-time editor of JAMA (from 1924 to 1949), and who had himself been ousted because he had “outshined” the AMA leadership, and the Board of Trustees came to resent his influence.(4) And now, Dr. Lundberg, who had just recently been promoted by the AMA to be in charge of Scientific Information and Multimedia, had been himself fired from his post at the prestigious publication.

At a press conference, AMA Vice President Ratcliffe Anderson, M.D. said that Dr. Lundberg “inappropriately and inexcusably had interjected JAMA into a major political debate that had nothing to do with science and medicine.” And from AMA headquarters, AMA President Nancy Dickey, M.D. further explained:

“Because JAMA means so much to us, when sudden change strikes, it sends a ripple of surprise from one end of the medical profession to the other. That certainly occurred with the recent dismissal of George D. Lundberg, M.D., the 14th physician to head the Journal. The dismissal triggered national publicity and many inquiries to the AMA from physicians and JAMA contributors who expressed concern over the future direction of JAMA.

“As president of the AMA, I can assure you that JAMA will continue to publish with the same high level of independence, objectivity and responsibility that we all have come to expect. The AMA’s Board of Trustees demands no less.

“It is important for AMA members and JAMA readers to know that the independence of JAMA has not been an issue here at all. Rather, the real issue has been our serious concerns over the integrity of the Journal itself.

“As he said in his public statements, E. Ratcliffe Anderson Jr., M.D., the AMA’s executive vice president and CEO, has, over the past several months lost confidence and trust in Dr. Lundberg’s ability to maintain the Journal’s historic integrity. The latest evidence was the decision to publish an article based upon the 1991 Kinsey Institute survey on what constitutes having “had sex” so it coincided with the [presidential] impeachment proceedings in the U.S. Senate.

“It was Dr. Anderson’s belief – shared by the AMA Board of Trustees – that publishing that survey at that time interjected JAMA into a major political debate that had nothing to do with science or medicine. That was unacceptable.

“To uphold JAMA’s editorial independence, both the AMA Board and CEO keep a strict distance from JAMA. But along with independence comes responsibility and with responsibility comes confidence in the editor.Accordingly, when the CEO, over time, loses confidence in the editor, and that confidence is not restored, the CEO has only two options: infringe upon the editorial independence, or remove the editor. Dr. Anderson obviously chose to preserve the independence, and replaced the editor.

“While the Kinsey article was a factor, Dr. Anderson’s decision was reached after several months of observation and was not based solely on any single circumstance. Dr. Anderson has informed the Board that he would not dismiss a subordinate for a single transgression, saying, “this is not a single mistake AMA.” The Board believes the decision Dr. Anderson reached was based on principle, was fully justified, and is supported by the Board of Trustees.

“We have a responsibility to the medical profession, our patients and the country to ensure that the editorial decisions of JAMA are based on science and the highest standards of medical journalism. The decision to replace Dr. Lundberg was necessary to live up to that responsibility.”(5) And yet, Dr. Lundberg had told CNN that adolescent sexual behavior was associated with sexually transmitted diseases and therefore was in the realm of public health.

Michael Fumento, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, apparently agreed with Dr. Lundberg’s dismissal and used him as only one example of the politicization of science and medicine in medical journalism.In The Wall Street Journal Fumento wrote: “Yet Dr. Lundberg’s action was a mere misdemeanor compared with the high crimes JAMA and other top medical and science journals have committed in recent years. These alleged bulwarks of reason and reality have the power to make or break drugs, therapies, and careers, and to influence national and international policy. All, almost certainly quite intentionally, have helped bring new meaning to the term ‘political science.’ “(6)

And as an example, Fumento cited the case of last April’s report by Dr. Devra Lee Davis, an environmentalist epidemiologist at the World Resources Institute, whose field of interest according to Fumento is “attempting to prove a link between man-made chemicals and diseases.” Her flawed study published in JAMA, purportedly linked a declining male birth rate between 1970 and 1990. What the author did not mention or the editor of JAMA failed to realize, or just plainly ignored, was to ask the question of why Dr. Davis “began counting in 1970, when government statistics of sex ratios of newborns go back to 1940?” The inconvenient answer is that the 1940-1990 interval show that “the ratios swing up and down from decade to decade,” and writes Fumento, “Ms. Davis simply snipped off years she found inconvenient.”6 Moreover, Dr. Davis did not explain why black male birth rates were not affected and, in fact, were increasing since 1970.

Another writer who also commented and did not lament the firing of Dr. Lundberg was Timothy Wheeler, M.D., Director of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership. He wrote: “To liberals, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) editor George Lundberg was a knight in shining armor. For years the AMA’s scientific journal was the soapbox from which he dispensed progressive gospel such as gun prohibition and race-based preferences in medical school admissions. But now he’s gone too far…He’s fired.

“Scheduled in a coming issue of JAMA is a survey of college students who opine that oral sex is, well, not really ‘having sex.’ Lundberg stands accused by his AMA boss Dr. Anderson as having ‘threatened the historic tradition and integrity of the Journal of the American Medical Association by inappropriately and inexcusably interjecting JAMA into a major political debate that has nothing to do with science or medicine.’ He refers, of course, to the sexual misconduct of President William Jefferson Clinton, the subsequent lies, and Mr. Clinton’s current impeachment trial in the United States Senate on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.

“Also, the AMA has undergone a steady trend from a conservative old boys club to a more left-leaning old boys and girls club. AMA management has done nothing to discourage JAMA’s social activist leanings over the years. As a result, a medical journal which once had promise as a top peer-reviewed learning resource for doctors has become a mouthpiece for political interests. As usual, real science has suffered in the process. Lundberg’s dismissal is a good first step toward rehabilitating JAMA.”(7)

But providing a veneer of scientific cover for President Clinton in his presidential hour of need during the Senate impeachment trial was not Dr. Wheeler’s only complaint. He also faulted Dr. Lundberg as a “media-savvy editor [who] was known for courting the press and the public with attention-grabbing articles on diets, firearms, and ‘alternative’ medicine. And he always artfully applied a scientific spin to these media morsels, even when the scientific basis was shaky.”(7)

Political expediency and social embarrassment — about kinky sex and lies, perjury, and the appearance of JAMA and an AMA closing ranks behind a disgraced president — forced the AMA leadership to do what principles and militant ideology had not: Fire Dr. Lundberg and attempt to get the house of JAMA in order. While I believe in the free flow and exchange of ideas, which are essential to a free society, organizations should also adhere to their missions and pick their editors, men and women, who represent and encapsulate the views of the organization. These editors can then be turned loose in the spirit of journalistic freedom.

Yet, the AMA was not faultless; while JAMA’s mission statement read: “To promote the science and art of medicine and the betterment of the public health,” JAMA also was allowed to function “under a set of goals and objectives” which were outlined by Dr. Lundberg himself in a JAMA article(8) and were approved by the AMA Board of Trustees in April 1993. Among these critical objectives we find:

“[Objective] 5. To foster responsible and balanced debate on controversial issues that affect medicine and health care.

“[Objective] 6. To forecast important issues and trends in medicine and health care.

“[Objective] 7. To inform readers about nonclinical aspects of medicine and public health, including the political, philosophic, ethical, legal, environmental, economic, historical, and cultural.

“[Objective] 8. To recognize that, in addition to these specific objectives, THE JOURNAL has a social responsibility to improve the total human condition and to promote the integrity of science.

“[Objective] 10. To achieve the highest level of ethical medical journalism and to produce a publication that is timely, credible, and enjoyable to read.”(9) [All emphasis added.]

One should question whether it is wise for JAMA and the AMA to immerse themselves in some of these objectives like “social responsibility,” a liberal buzzword which can become easily a subject of abuse and exploitation for political purposes (as has been relentlessly done over the years by liberation theologists and sundry medical editors), while the other side has been censored and nothing stated about the needs for freedom in medicine, individual-based ethics (on which patient advocacy and the Oath of Hippocrates and traditional medical ethics are based), etc. The fact is the AMA had opened itself to the politicization of science and medicine through the type of research it sponsors, the public relations campaigns it funds and the medical publications it sanctions.

Dr. Lundberg did have considerable leeway to publish the articles that he selected under the approved JAMA objectives. What some editors in medical journalism, particularly those of us who have been true victims of censorship and political correctness, would question is whether Dr. Lundberg faithfully and honestly executed those objectives, particularly whether or not he fostered “responsible and balanced debate on controversial issues” during his long tenure as editor of JAMA.

Because of the politicization of published scientific research, and the corrupting influence of unlimited government funding of public health, medical researchers, more and more, are ignoring traditional research on the basic and clinical sciences (i.e., investigations as to the physiologic and genetic basis for longevity, radiation and chemical hormesis, neuroscience and behavior, etc.) and sometimes even plainly ignore the scientific method altogether, in their quest for politicized, results-oriented research. Instead, much time and resources are spent on “end-of-life care,” gun (control) research as a public health issue, domestic violence, binge drinking, etc., topics that belong more appropriately, perhaps, in the realm of religion, sociology, and criminology.

During his years as editor of JAMA, Dr. Lundberg helped move JAMA, and with it, the AMA leadership, to the left of the political spectrum, towards more government infringement (presently through managed care and corporate socialized medicine)(10), which, in fact, today remains the biggest threat to the survival of the profession. What Dr. Lundberg overwhelmingly selected for publication and what he frequently wrote in the far-out left field of medical politics alienated practicing physicians in the trenches, who only wanted to be represented by the AMA and otherwise left alone by the government, to practice their cherished profession. Former AMA members, such as myself (and dozens of others I personally know) became fed up with JAMA and the power politics of organized medicine. Many of us left the AMA discouraged and frustrated. And Dr. Lundberg presided over this professional alienation and the consequent further hemorrhage of AMA membership, and this was precisely when JAMA and the AMA could have made a real difference.

Over the years, when it came to socioeconomic and political issues, the AMA, through Dr. Lundberg and JAMA, moved to the left or to the politically correct safe side of the medical fence. Never mind that many of these left-wing political views went, by and large, contrary to the majority, if not a sizeable number of AMA dues-paying, rank-and-file members.

National Health

Dr. Lundberg’s dismissal was not an issue of journalistic freedom but that of an editor who used JAMA to promote left-wing, liberal views, that went by and large contrary to the view of AMA rank-and-file members. Take for instance, Dr. Lundberg’s call for step-by-step socialization of American medicine (under the guise of saving medicine from complete government takeover) during the great health care debate of 1992-1994. In a pivotal editorial he wrote:

“As long as we are in a free society with medical pluralism, providing access means that there must be insurance coverage for all, either paid for by individuals (or families), by employers, by government, or by some combination thereof. But, insurance alone is not enough. There must also be education regarding the availability of care, attempts to remove cultural and language barriers that would prevent adequate care, provision of local resources (or transportation to appropriate facilities), and the abolition of racial discrimination as it manifests itself in health care provision. If we retain a system of private health insurance, such insurance must be community-rated and not risk-rated, must be available to all without consideration of preexisting conditions, must be transportable by the insured, available to all US inhabitants (or covered by government), and affordable. If all of these conditions cannot be met, then private insurance for the general populace should cease to exist for basic medical care and should be confined to individually purchased ’boutique’ care.”

If the foregoing dissertation is not gradualism in the step-by-step socialization of American medicine, thinly disguised, I don’t know what is! Moreover, to control the expenditures that socialized medicine would bring, he advised: “Payment for providing access for all can be made available by promptly effecting cost controls that slow the anticipated increase in expenditures for health care.”(11)

Keep in mind Dr. Lundberg’s reforms, he insisted, were needed to prevent the complete “government takeover” of medicine. Here are steps he thought absolutely necessary to control health care costs with his socialized program:

  • Clearly futile care should cease.
  • Unnecessary and inappropriate care should stop.
  • Self-referral to physician-owned facilities should be eliminated.
  • The tort system of liability should be reformed.
  • Managed care and managed competition should be drastically expanded.
  • All Americans should have a primary care physician to function as caregiver, patient advocate, adviser, and medical manager-gatekeeper for access to specialty care.
  • We should retain a private-public mix of payers and the health care industry.
  • Even if all of this is done we still must have some form of global budget that curtails the flow of new money from government and insurers. Excess capacity and utilization must be limited and a ceiling established no matter how distasteful or politically dangerous that may seem to be. To fairly set such global budgets (by state or nationally) it will be necessary to legislate a national health expenditure board, with independent authority to effect such decisions.(11)

AIDS and Gun Control

And finally, let us take the issue of the politics of AIDS and the issue of gun control, within the much-ballyhooed context of public health. And, 1991 was again a key year. In that year, the AMA helped defeat legislation (H.R. 2608) allowing physicians to test their patients for HIV without the considerable legal constraints placed on practitioners and hampered the much needed public health policy of universal testing. Incidentally, the public health establishment went along with this policy, contrary to common sense and public health protocol. To this day, universal testing remains acutely needed to contain the deadly AIDS epidemic. And yet, inexplicably, at the same time that physicians’ hands were tied, JAMA and the AMA trampled upon Principle VI of the AMA Code of Ethics about freedom of choice and free association and proclaimed that physicians were legally and “ethically” compelled to treat patients with AIDS, regardless of experience or expertise.(12)

And thus, because of expediency, power politics, and political correctness, JAMA and the AMA helped AIDS become the first politically protected disease and HIV sero-positivity a socioeconomic and political issue, rather than the truly public health menace that it poses to a significant segment of the population. Because the proper public health measures to combat this disease have not been instituted and because of the politicization of AIDS, medicine’s fight against HIV has been extremely difficult and for these and other reasons HIV is still a long way from being eradicated.(13)

And yet, while the public health model has not been fully applied in the case of AIDS containment, public health researchers at the CDC and elsewhere, supported by JAMA and the AMA, have done their utmost to apply the public health model to gun control.(14) Dr. Lundberg himself was a proponent of gun control as a public health issue, rather than as an aspect of criminology. Along with a large segment of the public health establishment Dr. Lundberg espoused the erroneous concept of guns and bullets as virulent pathogens that needed to be stamped out by limiting gun availability, and ultimately, presumably, by eradicating it, like a virus, from ordinary citizens.

In an editorial written with former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, M.D., Dr. Lundberg drew an inappropriate comparison between motor vehicle accidental deaths with all gun deaths (including homicides and suicides, by far the largest share of gun deaths). The analogy was faulty as Dr. Edgar Suter, Chair of Doctors for Integrity in Policy Research, astutely points out: “The selectivity of the analogy is further apparent when we recognize that licensing and registration of automobiles is necessary only on public roads. No license or registration is required to own and operate a motor vehicle of any kind on private property. The advocates of the automobile model of gun ownership would be forced by their own logic to accept use of any kind of firearm on private property without license or registration. Since any state’s automobile and driver license is valid in every state, further extension of the analogy suggests that the licensing of guns and gun owners would allow citizens to ‘own and operate’ firearms in every U.S. jurisdiction. A national concealed firearms license valid throughout this nation would be a significant enhancement of self-protection, a deterrent to violent crime, and a compromise quite enticing to many gun owners.”(15)

In the same editorial, Lundberg and Koop also made the stupefying and extraordinary claim that “one million U.S. inhabitants die prematurely each year as a result of intentional homicide or suicide,(16) which as Dr. Suter correctly notes, is a 35-fold exaggeration or careless distortion of fatality figures. With this grand but erroneous assertion, Dr. Suter questioned their competence in the field of gun violence.(15)

Crime and violence, unlike AIDS, are issues for sociology and criminology, yet with the help of JAMA and the AMA, they have become, erroneously, public health issues to the detriment of public policy.

What is published in such prestigious journals as JAMA and the NEJM, journals which are widely circulated in medical circles, as well as the press corps, is of crucial importance because the medical literature in general and these journals in particular are given great credence by the public and by policy makers. And yet, under such editors as Drs. Lundberg in JAMA and Jerome Kassirer of the NEJM,* censorship has been practiced (although not admittedly so), not only against those who have attempted to breach the walls of political correctness and medical orthodoxy (i.e., a barrier of left-of-center or farther out ideology) but even those who only wanted to express their contrarian views and be heard in letters to the editor. And with few notable exceptions, the monolithic wall of censorship has not yet been breached.

Medical Journalism

Image conscious physicians, particularly the leadership and medical editors, wanting to be seen as “respectable,” have swam with the politically correct current of medical journalism and left-of-center politics, allowing their journals to become mouthpieces of trendy liberalism (i.e., instruments of social responsibility, vehicles for sexual orientation and liberalization, gender politics, and other politically correct terms, framed in terms of public relation sound bites). Yet, the medical journals have not kept the leaders of organized medicine’s feet to the fire. So relaxed and unencumbered by an unwatchful medical press, these leaders are unwilling to roll up their sleeves, get their hands dirty, and do the work that needs to be done to restore the practice of medicine to its former pedestal. Indifference, apathy, and the manifest arrogance — i.e., the inclination of medical politicians of preserving their aura of respectability, at any price – is leading us, slowly but surely, to professional suicide.

Those who have managed to occasionally breach the monolithic wall of censorship of the medical journals and news magazines, or who have been published or been allowed to speak, have been ignored or ostracized for taking a stand for what they know to be true — namely, that we have been headed in the wrong direction, led by medical editors and the medical politicians of organized medicine, inexorably toward the socialization of American medicine and the destruction of a once noble profession.(19)

Following the lead of the “respectable” mainstream media sources like The Washington Post and The New York Times, our own medical editors have also framed the parameters of the debate, in terms of socioeconomic and political issues, to the narrow confines of what they, the opinion cartel molders of the medical establishment, consider acceptable. The truth is that we do need journals of opinion in the medical literature to fight for freedom in medicine and reassert the fact that physicians are their patients’ true advocates. We write words of freedom today so that we might have freedom in medicine tomorrow. Unless the medical profession counterattacks today, physicians are poised to capitulate and lose what remains of their independence; surrender their individual-based ethics for a collectivist, utilitarian one, as propounded by managed care and corporate socialized medicine; and in the end, give up the time-honored privilege of being, as physicians, the true advocates of patients.

AAPS and the Medical Sentinel

Fortunately, there is AAPS, the Delta force of American medicine with its informative newsletter and its flagship publication, the Medical Sentinel. The Medical Sentinel today is a breath of fresh air in medical journalism, a source of inspiration in the fountain of individual freedom, a ship of individual liberty in a sea of conformity and statism. Other than the occasional opposition to managed care, what else is there in other medical journals besides more of the same: more news and acceptance of HMO mergers and consolidations, more rules and regulations for Medicare compliance, more expected RBRVS reimbursement cuts, and, of course, the obligatory PR campaign in opposition to tobacco, binge drinking, domestic violence, etc. — calling for more government intervention in the lives of citizens? And so on and so forth. Not so with the Medical Sentinel; our mission, as approved with the great foresight of the AAPS Board of Directors in 1996 reads:

The Medical Sentinel — the official, peer-reviewed journal of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) — is committed to publishing scholarly articles in defense of the practice of private medicine, the tenets and principles set forth in the Oath of Hippocrates, individually-based medical ethics, and the sanctity of the patient-doctor relationship.

The Medical Sentinel is dedicated to the pursuit of liberty, free markets, and integrity in medical research, particularly research impacting on current socioeconomic and political issues affecting public policy in general and health care in particular. Political correctness, dogmatism and orthodoxy will be challenged with logical reasoning, valid data, and the scientific method (when applicable) in the pursuit of free inquiry, the free exchange of ideas, and the eternal quest for truth.

The Medical Sentinel will strive to counteract misinformation, correct errors of fact and logic in the medical literature, and to aptly defend patient-oriented, individually-based, free market medical care.

The Medical Sentinel thus stands for the noble tradition and principles of the medical profession according to Hippocrates, as a bulwark and a much-needed counterweight to the torrent of politically correct views promulgated in the “mainstream” medical journals, interspersed with socialism and statism. Yes, it is worth repeating: The Medical Sentinel is a breath of fresh air in medical journalism!

References

1. Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia: Special Issue, March 1994, Vol. 83, No. 13, p. 133-159. Suter EA. Guns in the medical literature — a failure of peer review; Pratt L. Health care and firearms; Kopel DB. The allure of foreign gun laws; Carruth WW. Guns: health destroyer or protector.
2. Hendrick B. Report: guns not to blame for murder epidemic — Georgia medical journal criticized for article. Atlanta Constitution, March 19, 1994.
3. Faria MA, Jr. Medical Warrior: Fighting Corporate Socialized Medicine. Macon, Georgia, Hacienda Publishing, Inc., 1997, p. 107-120, 170-178.
4. Wolinsky H, Brune T. The Serpent on the Staff: The Unhealthy Politics of the American Medical Association. G.P. Putnam and Sons, New York, 1994, p. 19-20, 24, 35.
5. Dickey N. A special message regarding JAMA from the president of the AMA, January 1999. www.ama-assn.org.
6. Fumento M. Medical journals give new meaning to political science. Wall Street Journal, Jan. 21, 1999.
7. Wheeler T. Sex, lies, and JAMA’s headache. The Claremont Institute, 1999. http://www.claremont.org/publications/wheeler6.cfm
8. JAMA 1993;270:1248-1249.
9. JAMA’s mission and objectives. www.ama-assn.org
10. Faria MA, Jr. Corporate socialized medicine. Medical Sentinel 1998;3(2):45-46.
11. Lundberg GD. National health care reform — the aura of inevitability intensifies. JAMA 1992;267(18):2521-2522.
12. Faria MA, Jr. Vandals at the Gates of Medicine – Historic Perspectives on the Battle Over Health Care Reform. Macon, Georgia, Hacienda Publishing, Inc., 1994, p. 195-197.
13. Faria, Medical Warrior, pp. 130-134. See also Monteith S. AIDS: The untold story. Medical Sentinel 1997;2(3):97-100.
14. Faria MA, Jr. The perversion of science and medicine (Part 1: On the nature of science; and Part II: Soviet science and gun control). Medical Sentinel 1997;2(2):46-53 and (Part III: Public health and gun control research; Part IV; The battle continues), Medical Sentinel 1997;2(3):81-86.
15. Suter, op. cit., p. 144-145.
16. Koop CE, Lundberg GD. Violence in America: a public health emergency. JAMA 1992;267(22):3075-3076.
17. Kassirer JP. A partisan assault on science — the threat to the CDC. New Engl J Med 1995;333(12):793-798.
18. Faria, Vandals, Physicians acquiescence — a legacy of monastic or medieval ethics? p. 294-299.
19. Blaylock RL. Running for cover — the herd instinct among physicians. Medical Sentinel 1996;1(2):14-17.

Footnote

* Dr. Kassirer was also critical of JMAG and my editorship and wrote an editorial after my resignation in 1995 supporting the “science” of public health and gun control.17 A year before that he had to rectify his assertion that JMAG was an “obscure journal” by the fact we were a peer-review, official state medical journal that was read even by out-of-state physicians. (Correspondence on file).

Written by Dr. Miguel Faria

Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.  is a consultant neurosurgeon and author of Vandals at the Gates of Medicine (1995) and Medical Warrior: Fighting Corporate Socialized Medicine (Macon, Georgia, Hacienda Publishing, Inc., 1997). He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Sentinel.

This article may be cited as: Faria MA. The Medical Sentinel — A Breath of Fresh Air. Medical Sentinel 1999;4(3):94-99. Available from: https://haciendapublishing.com/the-medical-sentinel–a-breath-of-fresh-air-by-miguel-a-faria-jr–md/.

Copyright ©1999 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.

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1 thought on “The Medical Sentinel — A Breath of Fresh Air by Miguel A. Faria, Jr., MD”

  1. Hi Russell and Miguel,
    I talked with the Editor of the CANS July Newsletter and he gave me a lot of excuses why they could not publish the paper. It was too long, and would take 10 of the 20 pages of a month. He would rather publish the histories of the medical centers in California. He thought it was well written and thorough. He did not know about the Covid information we wrote, He thought the Legislature’s new regulations suppressing Speech were just about Covid! He did not know about Ron Johnson’s Senate findings; This is the most pressing issue physicians face, but he just wanted to edit a newsletter. That should tell you what he represents. Unfortunately, the more I read the more I encounter this same type of attitude. Total denial and fear of taking a stand. People just do not look at what is happening, connect the dots, and understand the implications of what is happening. We are the early reactors. Those who want to treat a disease before it becomes incurable. I think things will have to get much worse before there is a chance they will be improved. Not enough people understand what is happening.

    Basically as I have known him for years, he is politically correct, avoids controversy, and wants to be friends with everyone. I learned in school that a strong man has enemies; the weak have none. I accepted Russell’s revisions which I thought are excellent.
    I made some modifications. I will put it aside for a bit while I return to other things I need to finish first. I Appreciate your help. — Jose
    —–
    Dear Jose,
    Your comments about the CANS Newspaper editor “Unfortunately, the more I read the more I encounter this same type of attitude. Total denial and fear of taking a stand… as I have known him for years, he is politically correct, avoids controversy, and wants to be friends with everyone.” That reminded me of something momentous said by the greatest neuropathologist, the Spaniard genius who traced the neuroanatomy of CNS with his silver staining and other methods, Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852-1934), who back in the 19th and early 20th centuries admonished us about the same people we face today in medicine’s leadership, as you can read in the introduction to a speech I gave, later turned into a Chapter in my book, Medical Warrior.

    Retrieving the quotation for my files I found the context in which I used Ramón y Cajal ‘s affirmation and — PRESTO! it was in context of my resignation to the Editorship of the Medical Association of Georgia, which is attached — “Censorship and editorial lynching in the deep south”! We are the three musketeers, Jose, Russell, and I, and we have all encountered the monster within the belly of the medical censorship: herd mentality, cowardice, apathy and above all complaisance (Aristotle’s description of the attitude of the slave) — and, as Ramón y Cajal stated, those cowards who are willing to lie and accept lies!

    Incidentally I called Dr. Al. Ma. a coward to his face at a meeting of our county society in Macon, a joint meeting with the auxiliary (doctors’ wives). You should had seen their faces. Dr. Ma. only bowed his head at the head of the meeting after my resignation! The hypocrites sent me an award a few weeks later (attached)! My dear friends and medical warriors, I’m attaching my resignation speech without further comment. That was 1995!— Miguel. P/S. I know you guys have plenty to read and read this years ago, but I thought it was very apropos! — Miguel A. Faria, M.D., is Associate Editor in Chief in neuropsychiatry; history of medicine; and socioeconomics, politics, and world affairs of Surgical Neurology International (SNI)
    —–
    Dear Miguel,
    Your comments about the MAG are exactly what was happening and is happening today. Every day Carol and I are disgusted with that attitude we see everywhere. Biden who is not running the country because he is incapable of doing that mentally and has been even before inauguration. He is the puppet of Obama. We are living in the third Obama term. It is the only way to explain everything that is happening. Obama’s goal is to intentionally destroy the USA. It is plain as anyone could see but most are living in Denial. Same as in the MAG. I understand why you were angry with them and your comment about the President at that time as a ” coward” was accurate. No one wanted say that or hear it. But that was the truth. Same with the CANS editor. I see this attitude throughout Medicine. Doctors are brainwashed into submission by propaganda they do not understand. They are supposedly smart but are actually dumb. We call that vertical intelligence. Give me that average person any day. They’ll have common sense.

    When Carol and I were in China many times, we saw the effects of the one child policy. They are raising Self Centered children. At the time we wondered what the world would be like when these people assume control. We are seeing it right now. Interestingly at the same time in the USA was the Boomer revolution, which rejected all history. “Do not believe anything anyone over 30 tells you” was the mantra. So we have two sets of young people growing up all over the world, one in the West and the other in China both of whom are self consumed and pampered. That leads to an economics of “I want what I want now”. No delayed gratification as in a child. With that comes unbelievable debt explained by the ‘Modern Monetary Theory’ which says it does not matter what you spend because you print the money. So, there is no real debt. That is what they believe. The only saving grace here is that we are headed into a major Depression worse than. Worse than the 1930s. That will be a wake up call, if its not too late. The one factor that moderates all of this is that there is no Excellence in the world today except likely in Israel. Every country is in Debt and has the goal corruption I have outlined. Maybe not India. I am not sure about that. So everyone will be suffering at the same time. It is the opening for a dictator and the Promise of Utopia.

    We also remember seeing a TV report on the young, who were 18-24 about 25-30 years ago, being asked about ethics and Right vs. Wrong. The answer is, there was no right or wrong. ” it is OK if you can get away with it” Lying, cheating, stealing. Murder? The answer was I have to think about that! 40% of the people that age agreed with that philosophy. No ethics, no morals, no character! That is also what we are seeing today. Is that all fixable? Long after I am gone, maybe. So thanks for the history note. It is present history also. — Dr Jose Gausman, California
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    Hi Miguel,
    I remember those times, although since I had not yet been introduced to you, I was not aware of the ugly details of your betrayal at JMAG as they were happening. I only found out about them later, as you unfailingly refused to sweep under the rug the cowardice and collusion of your spineless “friends” in MAG. Your observations about human nature are right on the mark. Our colleagues are generally weak and compliant. They would rather live with knowing they betrayed a colleague and their own morals, than to actually stand up against injustice. I wonder if you use their wall plaque for target practice. Roxanne and I are doing well despite our orthopedic challenges. We are learning how to care for a diabetic cat! Life in California grows crazier as Warden Newsom throws a legislative temper tantrum, pushing a bunch of new restrictions on concealed carry and junior shooting programs, including Olympic junior shooting (we’ve been through that one before). I believe a litmus test for our next GOP presidential candidate should be whether he will deploy federal forces to ensure compliance of rogue governors defying the SCOTUS decision in NYSRPA v Bruen. There is precedent in our lifetime, when Eisenhower nationalized the National Guard and sent the 101st Airborne to Arkansas after Gov. Orval Faubus blocked nine black students from entering their high school in Little Rock. This was in defiance of Brown v Board of Education. Don’t be a #Faubus! Below is my pinned tweet. —My best to you and Helen, as always, Tim. PS—The name of Ramón y Cajal and silver staining of nerve tissue is very familiar to me. I remember the name from my pathology studies. What I didn’t know is that he was not a typical academic shrinking violet.
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    Dear Miguel,
    I went through much the same thing with the State Medical Society, County Medical Society and the staff of my hospital in High Point, NC–most were yellow cowards. I eventually left and moved to MIssissippi only to find much the same here. I fought the HMO effort tooth and nail, with only a handfull of us fighting the fight. I left North Carolina in disgust. As you know, everything I told them would happen indeed happened and one of my chief opponents asked me to write something in their defense–you published my response on your website. All three of us have faced the storm and our families suffered right along with us–but held firm. I find the medical profession an embarrassment and have divested myself from all. They are happily regimented and controlled by elites–so to hell with them. Bless you both for continuing the fight.—Russell. Russell L. Blaylock, M.D., Theoretical Neuroscience Research, LLC, Associate Editor-in-Chief; Neuroinflammation Section, Surgical Neurology International

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