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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/10523/involuntary-medical-servitude/

Involuntary Medical Servitude

August 26, 2009 by

Medical care is not a right. Medical care is a service provided by doctors and others to individuals who want to purchase it. A patient presents to the doctor with a request for care. The fact that the patient has a serious condition — even a life threatening one — does not entitle him, as his right, to the services of the doctor. To claim that he does means that doctors and others who provide these services have no rights, or that society can deliberately ignore these rights for the “greater good.” FULL ARTICLE by Maria Martins

{ 44 comments }

fundamentalist August 26, 2009 at 8:40 am

“There is no free market today in the American healthcare system. …Government rules and the abuse of government power by special interest groups such as the AMA are responsible for the mismatch between doctors and the population requesting services.”

It takes a great deal of courage for a medical doctor to tell the truth about the AMA. I sincerely applaud Dr. Martins. In addition to limiting the supply of healthcare, the AMA drives up the cost of medical school to ridiculous levels and leaves young doctors working under a crushing load of debt.

Unfortunately, Dr. Martins is part of a very small minority among physicians. The American people trust doctors more than any other group of people, and if more would stand up and tell the truth as Dr. Martins has done, we might get some real change. In the meantime, the only way to break the stranglehold of the AMA is through the power of the state.

If libertarians maintain their purity and oppose the current legislation, they are voting for continuing the status quo. I say let’s vote for the Democratic plan now and break the AMA, then maybe we can have a real discussion about free markets.

Harry Valentine August 26, 2009 at 9:13 am

The state of American and Canadian health care is and will drive more people to seek ways to care for themselves . . . vitamins, supplements, traditional remedies etc. More people willhave to learn to practice preventative care in the face of the debacles caused by socialized medicine. We have already seen a rise in homeschooling courtesy of the debacles caused by socialized education of children . . . who can barely read or write upon graduation from many public high schools. Let us also not underestimate the role of politically well-connected pharmaceutical companies with their high-cost “remedies” that often are intended to replace well-proven traditional remedies that actually work. The socialist approach is no the Utopia that is was once thought to be . . . except tha tmost politicians do not realise that.

KP August 26, 2009 at 9:22 am

Marie:

I agree the current system needs to be replaced, the limited number of allowable seats to medical schools will not meet demand for the growing population, however you did not indicated multiple Caribbean schools that can fill this gap.

However, that is not my main point; you address that health care is not a right but a service, and I agree with you. However, you abide by a Hippocratic oath that mandates you to take in the sick no matter their history and help them become stable.

Until this mess is changed with those who do not have insurance, to go into the ER and get “free” treatment at the cost of the general public, the health care issue will still be in place.

Brad August 26, 2009 at 9:40 am

I am starting to get the same feeling within my profession as far as being a “maverick”. As a CPA I am noticing a huge shift toward Statism within the ranks. People within the profession aren’t conditioned to be independent thinkers applying clear rules adjudicated by the profession itself. The Rules are in a constant state of flux today, the rules applied to writing financial statements changing nearly as quickly as politicians change the laws upon which taxes are calculated and paid.

We, within the profession, are now being indoctrinated (not educated) on the new standards realitive to historical cost versus fair value (IMO fair value would have made and even bigger bubbles that we have recently experienced bursting – making problems worse instead of better). And very few of my peers say a word at how the profession has been brought into being Federally regulated instead of independently self-policed. And any attempts to present an alternative is not welcomed. It’s sad that the profession that should be first and foremost concerned with understanding equity, how it is calculated, and to some extent understand how it is made, has become a profession of middling bureaucrats without a capacity for clear and rational thinking. I have no clearly libertarian peers – they are either Statist Left or Statist Right.

As for the article, I think it’s safe to simply point out that nothing is a right if it requires and mental or physical effort of another human being at any point. Either the care giver has to be forced to provide care (perhaps with the family whisked away to the arctic circle to command obedience) or a third party has to be shaken down to pay the cost of the caregiver’s fee. Air is a right. Perhaps water. Fruits and nuts falling from wild trees are rights to the first finder. If one calorie of energy has to be expended for the thing to exist, then it is not a right.

I suppose it can be measured another way that the more Force necessary to execute service outside of voluntary wishes of anyone indicates that it is not a right.

Steve Beyers August 26, 2009 at 9:40 am

Dr. Martins makes a compelling case against socialized medicine from a doctor’s standpoint. She stresses importance of evaluation of a condition in the medical profession. It strikes me that increased government control of treatment methods not only increasingly restricts what methods doctors can prescribe for given diagnosed conditions. It also changes those diagnoses. Consciously or unconsciously, doctors will refrain from diagnoses that require treatment methods which are resisted or prohibited by government, and instead diagnose conditions that require less controversial treatment. Government control not only restricts treatment options for given diagnoses. It reduces the integrity of those diagnoses.

Johnathan August 26, 2009 at 9:44 am

This is of course the unspoken white elephant in the room in the current “debate” regarding “health care” in America.

Health care services are the result of an intricate network of physicians, nurses, assistants, laboratory staff, equipment manufacturers, biomedical engineers, paramedics, office managers, insurance companies, and so on. Yet the services this network provides are taken as a given; the output of so much labor is treated as a “thing” to be controlled and rationed.

What is ironic is that these same individuals, given the freedom to choose how and when to exchange their services for other consideration, will often do so on a reduced-price or free basis if the situation warrants.

While I don’t work in the medical field professionally (I’m an engineer by trade), I am certified as an Emergency Medical Technician. I belong to an organization of hundreds of doctors, nurses, paramedics, EMTs, and other volunteers that provide free emergency health care at public events, which saves individuals and the local EMS system many thousands of dollars an event in reduced transports and ER visits. I work with some of the most skilled and dedicated people EMS has to offer, yet I shudder to think of the mentality that treats these individuals as “national resources” to be divvied up.

Sadly, even this organization is philosophically confused. Their motto is “Health care is a right, not a privilege.” Every time I hear this, I think to myself, “Yep, people have a right to get health care from anyone that wants to give it to them.”

greg August 26, 2009 at 10:14 am

Personally, I don’t have anything against doctors and insurance providers. I do have a problem with the way both of them manage their overhead. And everyone that uses your services or the insurance’s services pay for this excess overhead.

Medical, insurance and government has given us our current system and this system is broke. What we need is to get back to the basics of supply and demand between a supply of healthcare and the patient. And this system has to be presented as a viable alternative or the government is going to force it’s solution.

Gasman August 26, 2009 at 10:15 am

Great article. Another fine set of truths from Mises.org. But….

You need to be careful with the “doctors use evidence” argument. Evidence based medicine is another Trojan Horse for bureaucratic control. See link!

http://www.freemensch.com/2009/03/empiricism-in-the-wrong-places.html

Nick August 26, 2009 at 10:44 am

@KP

No offense, but you’re the umpteenth person I’ve seen make the assertion that the “Hippocratic Oath” requires a doctor to render care to anyone.

Here’s the oath – Please outline for us which part makes the doctor a slave to anyone who asks for care:

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I swear by Apollo, the healer, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath and agreement:

To consider dear to me, as my parents, him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and, if necessary, to share my goods with him; To look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art.

I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.

I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.

But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts.

I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art.

In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or with men, be they free or slaves.

All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal.

If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all men and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my lot.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

2A August 26, 2009 at 11:09 am

Involuntary Medical Servitude == PSYCHIATRY

Under psychiatry, the apprehended individual is FORCED to play the role of the mental patient.

Any claims to self-determination, any refusal of treatment, any plea of sanity will result in even more coercion and abuse.

Psychiatry is the shame of the medical practice and the shame of justice and the shame of law.

Involuntary psychiatry should not exist.

2A August 26, 2009 at 11:13 am

“does not entitle him, as his right, to the services of the doctor.”

Doctors undergo the Hippocratic Oath which precisely says that doctors will not refuse his services to patients who requests them.

Under the Hippocratic Oath doctors have a moral obligation to serve patients. However the doctor charges what he wants. The oath does not specify that the doctor must do it for free, just that he must sell his services if a patient requests them.

Otherwhize, it’s the Hyppocrit’s Oath.

Ohhh Henry August 26, 2009 at 11:49 am

The obsession with nationalized health care reminds me of the obsession with establishing the One True Church in the middle ages and early modern era.

Ostensibly out of concern for the people’s souls, in hindsight it is easy to see it for what it was, namely a huge grab at money and power by elites. That is why “heretics” were tortured to death – not because anyone’s soul was endangered but because they threatened the established monopoly.

The simpleton Obama is like an underaged or intellectually incapacitated monarch (complete with dubious parentage and disputed claim on the throne) being controlled by a shadowy council of regents with strong vested interests. Look for the Thomas Cromwells and Bishop Cranmers if you want to understand the health care Reformation.

Joe Stoutenburg August 26, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Like Brad, I have seen my profession play the part of an extension of government bureaucracy. I am an actuary working for a large insurance company. Though I am not associated with medical insurance, I gather that the practice there, if any thing, is even more intertwined with government influence than is my practice area.

This is to say that Dr. Martins should not be too quick to excuse insurance companies. They have been willing participants in creating the institutions that we have. The current insurance arrangements present massive opportunities for profit. While reform back to true free markets would reduce overall costs, they would also reduce the incomes to insurance companies. For that reason, insurance lobby efforts have incentives to seek to enlarge the scope of insurance in medicine. Insurance companies are as culpable as is the AMA.

A step back reveals that greater political control attracts greater efforts to influence its application. This is true whether speaking of the AMA, insurance, pharmaceuticals or any other industry affected by central regulatory mandate. I believe that the most pernicious myth associated with this is that voters can somehow seize the apparatus of political favors for the benefit of the “Common Good”.

Even if such a Common Good could be defined, it is naive to think that the accumulation of power like we have in the federal government can truly benefit more than the most ambitious narrow interests. Beyond debating medical care intervention or other specific topics, the education of the nature of political power would go far to reign in political abuses. It is this education that is lacking in most people and that we should strive to impart.

Robert R Calder August 26, 2009 at 12:16 pm

I see no obsession with “nationalized healthcare” and I do see a basic untruth in the statement “Medical care is a service provided by doctors and others to individuals who want to purchase it.”

Goods are not provided to people who want to purchase them but only to people either with the money required, or to other people liable not to keep what they have because they have been loaned money they are in the end unable to repay.
People who can pay for everything and more should be welcomed by any service, since they provide resources for research.
The German system is a more appropriate model than the British one, and does not restrict what can be paid for.
Neurotic hostility to private medicine such as is practised in the USA should not be confused with plans to ensure that provision does not deny necessary treatment or cripple dependents of those in need of it.

Fallon August 26, 2009 at 12:24 pm

The NEA and AFT, millions strong teacher unions, are spending big bucks supporting health care reform. One teacher labor economist from Missouri thinks it is purely ideological affinity with socialization more than a self-interested practical move since the unions do not support a single payer option.

My intuition does not want to believe this. After reading- like many of us here on Mises- the works of Hutt, Petro, Flynn and Morgan I have trained myself to look for anticompetitiveness and all its consequences in action.

I could be wrong but I have a hunch that opportunities for union expansion or special debilitation of employers in union favor may be in the works due to nationalized health care. But where? In what way?

Will nationalized healthcare price out private school formations?

There are provisions in the leading bill for creation of schools as community health centers. But do these dollar signs add up?

Any help here?

Michael A. Clem August 26, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Johnathan is so right about health care taken as a given. Like most other goods and services, too many people take it for granted that it will be produced, and that the only concern is how it will be distributed. But production and consumption are inter-related, like supply and demand itself. Changing the distribution of a product or service also affects the production of it.
And Nick, thanks for quoting the Hippocratic Oath.

Fallon August 26, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Re my reference to “Morgan”, I meant Prof. Morgan Reynolds.

Nick August 26, 2009 at 1:12 pm

@2A

I posted the Hippocratic oath above in another post – oddly just before your first one…

Please note for me wherein it states that a doctor “…will not refuse his services to patients who requests (sic) them” or that he has “a moral obligation to serve patients” or anything that even remotely resembles those assertions.

KP August 26, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Nick:

Again, the Hippocratic Oath is an outdated but symbolic message; as Wiki (terrible source but still can be useful in this discussion states:) states “The Hippocratic Oath has been updated by the Declaration of Geneva.”

At the time of being admitted as a member of the medical profession:

* I solemnly pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;
* I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude that is their due;
* I will practise my profession with conscience and dignity;
* The health of my patient will be my first consideration;
* I will respect the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died;
* I will maintain by all the means in my power, the honour and the noble traditions of the medical profession;
* My colleagues will be my sisters and brothers;
* I will not permit considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient;
* I will maintain the utmost respect for human life;
* I will not use my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat;
* I make these promises solemnly, freely and upon my honour.

* The health of my patient will be my first consideration;

That line right there is key; individuals without insurance that have an emergency will go to an ER to get stable and admitted to a clinic. Fees will goto that individual, however if said individual can not pay, the result will be in higher premiums for everyone else. This is a major issue currently, in our health care system. THIS needs to be changed first and foremost.

Ohhh Henry August 26, 2009 at 2:18 pm

I see no obsession with “nationalized healthcare” …

I watched CNN and the so-called debate over greater control by the national government of the health care industry is almost the only issue that is being broadcast. Every ten minutes there was another rehash of the proposals, the town hall meetings, and the reaction.

Universal health care insurance coverage forced on the public through national government legislation along with massive direct participation through medicare and medicaid means “nationalization”. Debating it 24×7 on television, in newspapers and in blogs is what I would call “obsession”.

The German system is a more appropriate model than the British one, and does not restrict what can be paid for.

It restricts what can be paid for because it forces one to pay for nationalized health care and does not leave most people with enough after-tax (or after insurance premium) money to pay for anything else.

Nick August 26, 2009 at 3:23 pm

@ KP

So your first claim is outdated? And it’s been less than 24 hours… Weird. So we’re no longer discussing the “Hippocratic Oath,” the “evidence” so righteously asserted in your original claim, but some other oath?

Funny how that works.

Taken at it’s face, however – Your replacement oath, more specifically your selected and referenced portion, does nothing to buttress your argument. It merely states that a doctor must put the health of his patient first.

However, a doctor/patient relationship does not exist merely because a patient wills it to be true.

It seems like you are confusing the law with an unbinding oath doctors take as a tradition.

At it’s heart, your premise is that a law requiring an emergency room to admit anyone who shows up for treatment automatically makes the person requiring said treatment a patient and as such, a doctor is required by their oath to treat them.

In other words, you’re not using force on the doctor. You, and the rest of society, are using force on the hospital, and expecting the hospital to use force on the doctor.

Slavery, once removed. I like that.

However, it doesn’t change the fact that a doctor is not required by any oath to treat anyone who asks. The law may require it, but once again, that’s force – not an oath.

That the rest of society must pick up the tab for this use of force is an unintended consequence. How a larger application of force is supposed to fix that problem is beyond my ability to comprehend.

2A August 26, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Nick,

Under a universal public system, since the patient is forced to pay taxes to the system, the doctor should be forced to provide care at the patient’s request.

If the doctor wants the freedom to refuse patients, then patients should have the freedom to refuse paying taxes.

Matt R. August 26, 2009 at 3:31 pm

I just engaged in a long discussion on this topic. In the end, people need to take charge of their own health and their choices. This entails more freedom to choose, not less with a government takeover and all the special interests that go with it.

As someone who loves both economics and health, I’m continually dismayed by how corrupted we’ve become to accept Big Pharma as the answer to all our woes and the USDA Food Pyramid for our nutritional guidelines. There’s plenty we can do with good nutrition and supplements versus what we’re told we have to follow. It’s always refreshing to see these ideas presented on lewrockwell.com.

damocles August 26, 2009 at 5:53 pm

Great article. The Pelosi draft seems to envision forcing doctors to perform procedures such as abortion that some find morally repugnant. If that becomes the law, doctors will truly become little more than slaves to a rapacious omnivore state. Most doctors I know are politically naive and widely ignorant of economic matters, but they bridle at this point.

Daniel August 26, 2009 at 8:36 pm

2A,

So you would be content to have a public health system where only those who paid taxes were able to get health care? Those who couldnt provide a tax return would be denied care. I agree with this.

Now, replace the words taxes with “insurance premiums” or “cash” (with taxes, insurance premiums and cash all being the same thing) and you would have the beginnings of a free market health system.

Doesnt seem like we are poles apart in this….

newson August 26, 2009 at 10:39 pm

to second amendment:

what about the criminally insane? are you suggesting that they be incarcerated as per the “sane”? just curious.

newson August 26, 2009 at 11:04 pm

congratulation to dr martins for the courageous stand. were others so brave.

Nick August 26, 2009 at 11:28 pm

@2A

But that’s not what you and the other poster originally asserted. You both specifically said that the Hippocratic Oath required doctors to treat anyone who demanded their services.

Once I showed both of you that this wasn’t the case, your counterpart changed his argument to a different oath, and now you’ve constructed and destroyed a straw man that has something to do with a “universal public system” or it’s ramifications – something we never discussed.

My premise is simply that the Hippocratic Oath is not a pledge to servitude either voluntary or involuntary as you and the other poster asserted. If you can prove that it is, then do so.

tim smith August 27, 2009 at 7:07 am

Speaking as an outsider from the UK with the dreaded “socialised” healthcare, I find a number of these comments quite frightening. Simply put, on average in the UK we pay less for healthcare and live longer than the US. Live longer. We are also free of the fear of illness. We get ill, but it doesn’t ruin us in the way the US system can and does. Did I mention we live longer?

HM August 27, 2009 at 8:39 am

Amazing.
In America, people have the “right” to walk into a public meeting with a revolver strapped to their leg. But a 2-year old with an unemployed parent does not have the “right” to receive medical care.
To most of the developed world outside the US, this is simply amazing.

Nick August 27, 2009 at 9:00 am

@HM

You have every right to *request* medical care and most doctors would give it of their own free will.

However, you cannot make a doctor or nurse or other health care practitioner your slave and force them to give you care against their will.

Furthermore, it’s immoral to enslave other members of society to make them pay for your care.

It’s amazing to me, from where I sit, that people everywhere seem to think there’s nothing wrong with using violence to achieve their desires.

newson August 27, 2009 at 10:03 am

to nick:
thank you for the hippocratic oath. i, too, had only a vague and erroneous idea of its precise nature.

stands to reason what you say. in australia, many of the air carriers will upgrade (without prompting) medical practitioner passengers to business from economy class, presumably in the hope that if it hits the fan, there’s a doctor with some goodwill on board. if there were an obligation, such niceties might not exist.

newson August 27, 2009 at 10:08 am

yep, the britain’s national health is so good that people fly to thailand to get off the surgery waiting lists.

HM August 27, 2009 at 10:40 am

@Nick

I’m not sure where you are getting the idea that health care practitioners are “slaves”. This exageration does little to aid the discussion. It’s right up there with the “death panel” nonsense.
In Canada (and I expect UK, France, Germany…), health care practitioners are anything but “slaves”. They are highly-regarded members of society, very well paid (relatively speaking) and enjoy a very high standard of living (I live beside a GP and further down a neurosurgeon. I wish I could afford their toys…).
I find the issue of health care as a “right” interesting.
The rights that many in the US speak so vigorously about, I believe, are those defined in your Constitution, ie the “right” to bear arms.
Other societies have chosen different “rights”. The “right” to Universal Healthcare is one many societies have chosen.
If the US passed an amendment to the Constitution for Universal Healthcare, it would suddenly become a “right”, just as the first 10 amendments is the “Bill of Rights”.
It is simply a matter of choice.

@newson
Sure, some people leave the country to get medical treatment. Typically, to jump the queue. Also, many Americans go to India, etc, for much cheaper medical care. Visit a Mexican border city sometime. I bet you can get a tooth pulled for ten dollars…
But many Americans sneak into Canada for access to “free” health care. Well, free to them, but not the Canadian taxpayer. For instance, it became very common for US citizens afflicted with HIV to come to Canada and borrow a friends healthcare card to access treatment.

In the end, there is no “right” answer. Simply choices that various societies make.

(A quick question for the US Constitution experts. The Miranda ruling, making legal council available if a person is unable to afford, is this a Consitutional right ? Or is it a “right” that was defined by the Supreme Court ?

Inquisitor August 27, 2009 at 12:08 pm

In the end, there are apologists for forced slavery and taxation, and those who’d prefer freedom. HM seems to be propagator ing nonsense in favour of the former. A pity. Oh and as to why the “right” to “healthcare” is slavery, that is because it entails one can coerce a doctor into treating them a matter of right. That is why. I can’t believe people regurgitate this nonsense.

Inquisitor August 27, 2009 at 12:09 pm

“Amazing.
In America, people have the “right” to walk into a public meeting with a revolver strapped to their leg. But a 2-year old with an unemployed parent does not have the “right” to receive medical care.
To most of the developed world outside the US, this is simply amazing.”

The “developed” world outsidte of the US is pretty full of socialist morons, so there is little surprise there. Gasp, shock, horror! How DARE one not support a “right” to UHC!

Inquisitor August 27, 2009 at 12:10 pm

propagating*

Kay Doughty August 27, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Thanks for the thoughtful commentary. I appreciate your courage and honesty.

2A August 27, 2009 at 2:33 pm

Newson,

The law imprisons criminals who committed a crime and were convicted of having committed that crime.

The law cannot incarcerate people just in case they commit a crime, sane or not.

As long as a person did not commit a crime, leave them alone.

And if you think they represent a threat to you, it’s up to you to defend yourself with any means possible, but as long as a crime is not committed leave him alone, no matter how bizzare he is.

Criminally insane is a contradictory statement. Since “insanity” supposes non-responsible.

Those who mental ill witch hunt is causing innocent people to be harrassed by psychiatry and to be deprived of their freedom even though they did nothting wrong nor illegal.

Involuntary psychiatry has got to stop. Family members, entering in arguments, are routinely forcefully psychiatrized just so the parents win arguments over their children or other family members.

Psychiatry is oftenly used as a weapon in power struggles.

Involuntary psychiatry is incompatible with libertarianism.

Nick August 27, 2009 at 2:38 pm

@HM

It’s very simple. Government is force. A vote is an act of force. Force is violence. You can’t get away from these very simple truths.

When you use violence or the threat thereof to make someone work for you when they don’t want to, they become a slave. When you use violence or the threat thereof to take money from person A to pay person B to do something for person C, then person A becomes a slave.

Is it that hard of a concept to grasp or are you being deliberately obtuse?

And it makes no difference that you vote on the matter or that you only take twenty percent of someone’s money. If five guys walk into a liquor store with baseball bats and offer the clerk a chance to vote on whether or not they rob him – does that make it okay? How about if they only take twenty percent of what’s in the cash drawer?

As an anarchist, invoking the US Constitution in your argument means little to me. However, the “rights” defined in it are supposed to be “recognized” and “protected” – they’re allegedly universal and predate the document – They are *not* granted by it and none of them are predicated on victimizing another.

You can’t claim a “right” to another person’s effort. If you do, you’re making that person your slave. If you steal the money to pay them instead, then you’re a thief as well.

JQP August 27, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Dr. Martins,
I applaud you on your courage and the clarity of your thinking. Your basic arguments are irrefutable to those who think things through.

Nick,
Your response to HM is excellent and spells out the fundamental difference between the constitutions of governments that were basically written in the 20th century vs. the US Constitution. Whereas other governments define what its citizenry can and cannot do, the US Const spells out the limitations on the government itself–a very different relationship altogether. If those like HM could see this basic point they would be forced to reconsider their own fallacious positions.

2A,
I’ve noticed you bring psychiatry into many of your postings, yet you speak in very general terms. What specific personal experiences or examples can you provide that would help us understand your points better?

Thanks.

newson August 27, 2009 at 11:57 pm

touché on “criminally insane”. here in australia, nonetheless, this is the term used to describe the jails where the mentally unsound are detained, having been found guilty of violent offenses. i guess you’re saying the should be only one form of penitentiary.

by your line of reasoning, also, people should not get any reduction in sentence for any mental infirmity.

i think you’re right. have you seen clint eastwood’s “the changeling”? a lovely marriage between the lapd and the psychiatry profession.

i’m quite familiar (as a disinterested observer, not in a participatory role) with involuntary psychiatric admission. you’ve got to have a sense of humour. oftentimes, it’s not apparent which side of the consulting desk the mad person sits! (try pointing that out, and your dose will be changed, sure as eggs!)

newson August 28, 2009 at 12:00 am

to 2A:
the spiel was directed at you.

Mark M. Glasgow August 28, 2009 at 1:45 pm

I agree with Dr. Martin´s observations and I´d go even further in extending her line of reasoning. Medical doctors, the AMA, and the pharmaceutical giants, with the help of paid-for lawmakers, have subverted health care freedom with the licensing procedure. This awards medical doctors a monopoly to practice medicine which they have often used to impede other choices in health care. As so often becomes the case, those who seek privileges from government, soon become its slaves.

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