I find it helpful to look back occasionally at our progress in the culture war waged by organized medicine against gun owners. The players change and language evolves, generally in an attempt to mask the gun-grabbers’ true intentions. But one force for gun control has remained constant. The American Medical Association (AMA) still wants to ban gun ownership by regular citizens, although it will still vigorously deny it, even as it moves toward its goal.
When I was in training, we used to hear horror stories about the coming “cook-book” medicine in which doctors would be given a list of preordained methods for diagnosing and treating various diseases handed down by medical elites. This relegates the physician to little more than a cog in the wheel of the State, obediently following orders handed down from the bureaucrats above.
Until quite recently, the practice of medicine was considered an art, which incorporated a significant modicum of science, yet was itself not a pure and applied science, such as physics, astronomy, biology, and chemistry. Sir William Osler (1849-1919), one of the greatest medical minds, not only in the science of medicine, but more so the art of medicine, has written:
For several decades, American bioethicists have been providing persuasive arguments for rationing medical care via the theory of the necessary "rational allocation of finite health care resources."(2) More recently, assisted by various sectors of organized medicine, they have developed multiple approaches to justify what they see as the necessary curtailment of services and specialized treatments deemed not medically necessary.
Acquiescence is the trademark of the slave.
Aristotle (4th Century B.C.)
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
As you may or may not know, there are no physicians from organized medicine serving on Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Health Care Task Force—MDs who represent practitioners and their patients. Those MDs who are on the task force, according to the American Medical Association (AMA), are mostly “federal employees” who do not represent the profession. It is reasonable to assume that more likely they represent the bureaucracies whence they came and which sign their paychecks.
Many Americans, even physicians, are unaware that the National Research Council, which is an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, proclaimed in February 1993 that “the AIDS epidemic will have little impact on the lives of most Americans or the way society functions.” Moreover, the CDC has released the year-end AIDS figures for 1992 which show that “the overall cases increased only 3.5% from the year before, less than the 5% increase from 1990-1991.” Furthermore, as recently reported by National Review, the CDC enunciated that it was revising downward its estimate of future AIDS
Unless the people, through unified action, arise and take charge of their Government, they will find that their Government has taken charge of them. Independence and liberty will be gone and the general public will find itself in a condition of servitude to an aggregation of organized and selfish ambitions.
Calvin Coolidge (30th President of the U.S. [1923-1929]) and
Alfred E. Smith (Joint Statement issued October 12, 1932)
A half-truth is a whole lie.
Anything repeated three times in Washington becomes fact.
Physicians classify diseases in a variety of ways. Clinical classifications are often made according to either the suddenness of onset or the expected prognosis. Diseases are considered acute if they develop suddenly and have a short clinical course. Chronic diseases, on the other hand, have a slow onset, indolent course, and long duration. They heal slowly if they improve at all.
The role of gun violence and street crime in the United States and the world is currently a subject of great debate among national and international organizations, including the United Nations. Because the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the individual right of American citizens to own private firearms, availability of firearms is greater in the U.S. than the rest of the world, except perhaps in Israel and Switzerland.
The 1991 American Medical Association (AMA) campaign against domestic violence (and towards gun control) launched for public relations and media consumption went hand in hand with a previously articulated (1979) U.S. Public Health Service objective of complete eradication of handguns in America, beginning with a 25% reduction in the national inventory by the year 2000!(1)
As a physician, I have always been a staunch supporter of public health in its traditional role of fighting pestilential diseases and promoting health by educating the public as to hygiene, sanitation, and preventable diseases, as alluded to in my book, Vandals at the Gates of Medicine; but I deeply resent the workings of that unrecognizable part of public health incarnated in the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) with its politicized agenda and proclivity towards result-oriented research based on junk science.
The crisis of American medicine is not tobacco, AIDS, silicone implants, the Gulf War Syndrome, breast or other forms of cancer, physician-assisted suicide, euthanasia, licensure, medical care for the poor, or any other specific medical or ethical issue. The crisis of American medicine is far greater than any one of these problems, indeed it is far greater than all of them combined, because the answers to these problems do not come from within them but from medical ethics.
A History of Censorship
While both the Patients' Bill of Rights legislation, allowing patients to sue HMOs in state court for unlimited damages, and tort reform, providing physicians judicial relief in medical liability, have stalled in the 107th Congress this year --- these intertwined problems of health care litigation will not disappear for long from the political landscape.
On June 23, 1995, a swarm of armed men invaded the Mason, West Virginia medical office of Dr. Danny R. Westmoreland. With their guns drawn, the intruders ordered everyone, including a nine-year-old child, to stand against a wall while the office was ransacked. The marauders were agents of the federal "health police," and they had violated the sanctuary of Dr. Westmoreland's office - which is also his home - and terrorized patients at gunpoint in order to execute a search warrant against the physician.
The Civil War's immediate impact was felt mostly in America. It ended slavery, preserved the union, and in time reaffirmed the natural rights of man first proclaimed distinctly by the English physician-philosopher, John Locke (1632-1704). Locke is perhaps the foremost proponent of individual rights in the history of Anglo-American jurisprudence. He wrote that all human beings were equal and free to pursue "life, health, liberty and possessions." He influenced our Founding Fathers immensely: