Published Articles

Friday, March 15, 1996

The book, Vandals at the Gates of Medicine by Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D., is extremely interesting and unusual as it takes you through the history of primitive medicine, from the Ice Age 40,000 years ago to the Renaissance, in an attempt to solve the battle over health care reform that is now taking place.

The author speculates that organized medical care was needed, and is hypothetical about the first blunt head injury (the author is a neurosurgeon). That man recognized “the need for the care of the wounded in his clan and when he became ill from imbibing the stagnant water of a polluted pond, he also recognized the need to be provided with aid and comfort during sickness — and to be nurtured back to health.” These witch doctors had a tremendous amount of prestige and power within the tribe and were respected, as the survival of the tribe depended on them.

The author now takes the reader to the Egyptian physicians in the fifth century B.C. by quoting Herodotus, a great historian: “The art of medicine is thus divided among them. Each physician applies himself to only one disease, and no more.” Apparently, there was specialization in those days....

Thursday, June 1, 1995

"Violence in America — Effective Soutions" by Suter EA, Waters WC, Murray GB, et al. was originally published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia, Volume 85, June 1995, pp 253-263 while Dr. Miguel A. Faria served as Editor-in-Chief of that medical journal. The following link is provided for readers who wish to read the entire article:

Wednesday, May 3, 1995

And I looked, and behold, a pale horse; and his name that sat on him was Death.
Revelation 6:8

At the peak of his reign in A.D. 540, after accomplishing major political, judicial, and military successes, Justinian’s empire was struck by the old enemy of mankind, one that not even Justinian could conquer: pestilential disease. The bubonic plague, which struck with a vengeance in A.D. 540, is justifiably the worst recorded pandemic to ever afflict humanity. Records regarding the dimensions of the devastation, suffering, and death were carefully kept by Justinian’s chief archivist, secretary and historian, Procopius....

At the time the horrible plague struck, Justinian was engaged in a war that was being waged fiercely on two fronts. We have already described the military feats of his armies as they battled the remnants of the Germanic tribes in the West. But during the years A.D. 541 and 542, Justinian was also engaged in the East fighting the recalcitrant Parthians....

If we think of the dimensions of the devastation of the bubonic plague of the 6th Century in the midst of the Dark Ages—the savage imperial wars waged against...

Sunday, April 2, 1995

It is the free mind and individual responsibility, the principles of the Renaissance that have brought us the wonders of modern health care through the free-market capitalist system and through the inventiveness of the free minds it has raised. It seems we are now going to harness the capitalist engine for rationing....

It seems that we in America are about to embark on an accelerated venture of harnessing the capitalist engine for the destruction of healing.... For instance, the terms managed competition we hear in all these proposals, by sleight of words say the opposite of what they mean. It is competition in management we should be speaking of.... It is the loss of philosophical concepts, the loss of the spirit of free will and individual responsibility represented in these schemes, together with conceptual muddle-headedness which are sounding the death knell to the philosophy of our civilization.(1)

Thomas A. Dorman, M.D.

As we further reflect on what transpired during the health care reform debate of 1993 and 1994, we must realize more than just changes in the U.S. health...

Wednesday, March 15, 1995

According to an old Cuban proverb, "Camarón que se duerme, se lo lleva la corriente" (shrimp that sleep are swept away by the current). Some physicians may find Dr. Faria's wake-up call as welcome as a blast of Arctic wind. In his view, the current policy of most medical organizations --- "nonconfrontation and cooperation" --- could make them, in effect, accomplices of the barbarians.

From Faria's historic perspective, the currents that some consider the wave of the future are as old as the Code of Hammurabi. Because of the threat of severe government reprisals, the most knowledgeable physicians in the civilized world at that time recommended against treating patients --- the ultimate "defensive medicine."

As an example of a leader who forestalled imminent collapse in a time of crisis, Faria points to Diocletian. Although he subdued military enemies and reestablished law and order, his domestic "reforms" accelerated the corrosion of the foundations of the Roman Republic. Diocletian abrogated codified laws and installed an overbearing centralized government that overrode the rights of citizens and local governors. The specific remedies are familiar: wage and price...

Wednesday, March 1, 1995

The world owes all its onward impulses to men ill at ease.
The happy man inevitably confines himself within ancient limits.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

On Managed Care And Cutting-Edge Technology

In the wake of the epochal November1994 elections that swept conservatives to power, and hopefully a new philosophy of health reform—viz, economic incentives to promote healthy lifestyles and the pursuit of longevity—it is appropriate and relevant we discuss the new vistas of opportunities for cutting-edge technologies in the biomedical industries and the potential impediments to health progress.

Despite the presently available medical networks for communication via Cybermedix and the Information Superhighway, the greatest impediment to this “state of the art” technology reaching clinical medicine and patients any time soon, remains the present atmosphere of cost controls, covert rationing of medical care, and litigation- (of individual physicians, not the networks which are shielded) on-demand.

Managed competition—the prevailing philosophy of health care delivery with its centerpiece,...

Thursday, February 23, 1995

How is one to describe a book in which chapter I begins with the words "In the beginning" and that then proceeds to discuss, in 32 chapters, the history of humanity and the development of medicine and medical ethics - up to, and including, the ill-fated Clinton health plan? The book has been written by a practicing neurosurgeon with wide-ranging interests. Its sweep through history is demonstrated by the 30 photographic plates of such mythological and historical figures as Osiris, Hippocrates, and Vesalius. The political leanings of the author, who escaped Cuba at the age of 13, are demonstrated by two other plates - one of him interviewing a wounded Salvadoran soldier, and another of his wife holding a SAM-7 missile launcher captured from a Nicaraguan plane transporting weapons to the Salvadoran guerrillas.

The book presents a conservative critique of modern efforts at reform of the health care system, along with a comprehensive historical review that Dr. Faria claims demonstrates the dangers of uncoupling private initiative and free markets from the provision of health care services. The principal target of the book is the Clinton health plan, but there are a host of...

Keyword(s): health care reform

Sunday, February 5, 1995

I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work.
I want to achieve immortality through not dying.

Woody Allen

In the aftermath of the conservative revolution of November 8th [1994], we can again ponder some politically incorrect ideas. Voilà, instead of “proper allocation of finite and scarce resources,” we can indulge to think about longevity, prolonging the lifespan and the quality of life of patients. We can recount the story of medical advances that brought about the unprecedented increase in longevity, particularly in the wake of the Industrial Revolution.

Allow me, then, the indulgence of prefacing my story with the historic tale of the indomitable, Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León (c.1460-1521) who discovered and explored Florida in 1513. According to a legend told to him by the natives, there was  an elusive “fountain of youth” said to be hidden in the lush vegetation and swampy marshes of the exotic peninsula. In pursuit of this fountain, he went on a fruitless quest. Assailed by hostile Indians, tired, and unsuccessful in his attempts to locate the precious secret, he...

Friday, December 2, 1994

All the information that has come to light regarding the deliberations, inappropriate and shocking revelations, of the secret Health Care Task Force of President Bill and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton thanks to the lawsuit, AAPS v. Clinton; and the subsequent wheeling and dealing behind closed doors of liberal democratic congressional leaders attempting to sugar-coat the Clintonian health care proposals (socialized medicine), remind me of the true story and the consequent sequence of historic events that led to the present situation concerning monetary and economic policies—e.g., an unstable weak currency, slow but chronic inflation, budget deficits, and ballooning national debt (now approaching $5 trillion)—and to the inception of an all-powerful monetary entity, the Federal Reserve System, which has been appropriately christened the “Creature from Jekyll Island” by G.E. Griffin in his magnificent exposé of the aforesaid name.(1)

Here is the shocking story: In the fall of 1910, a very secretive meeting was held on Jekyll Island, Georgia. The meeting was attended by a small cabal of banking elites who—many years later, after the fact—explained they had drafted a...

Wednesday, November 2, 1994

But what events have led us to this deplorable state of affairs with American medicine headed inexorably in the wrong direction—down the path of welfarism, collectivism, and corporatism? To answer this loaded and troublesome question, perhaps one should ponder the words of the politician par excellence, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who once admitted, “Nothing just happens in politics. If something happens, you can be sure it was planned that way.”  So, in our search for answers, let us glean and ponder the changes ushered in the 1960s by the Great Society of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

A Modern Trojan Horse

During that time, many people thought government could solve all of society’s problems. Physicians were no exception. So yes, many physicians succumbed to the allurement of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. “After all,” they asked themselves, “why not accept government payment for medical services formerly provided the indigent as charity, pro bono publico?” With the questions finally answered in the affirmative by a pragmatic leadership, physicians listened to the seductive songs of the sirens that weakened their natural defenses to government intrusion. So...