Dear Dr. Faria,
The articles in the Spring 1997 issue of the Medical Sentinel by Dr. Payne on Medical Ethics in the AMA and AAPS and the commentary by Dr. Orient entitled Abortion, Euthanasia — Moral Choices? raised some very important points concerning American medicine and the future course of the AAPS.
The downward course of the AMA certainly began a long time ago until at present only 2 out of 5 doctors belong to what was once a great American organization. When did the AMA begin its downward course? For me it began in 1967 when the California Medical Association sponsored an abortion bill before the state legislature. I strongly opposed this and complained to the San Diego County Medical Society from which I resigned in protest. At that time, I predicted the great loss of stature that would occur to American physicians who foolishly pursued a course of promoting the destruction of human life in utero. At present, you are seeing the rapid conversion of our physicians into “managed care” which is nothing more than a euphemism for slave medicine.
We must realize that there are really only three inalienable rights and they are as follows: The right to life, liberty, and property. But even with these rights there is a hierarchy with the right to life coming first. Liberty is very necessary to support that right to life and even the right to property is necessary to support our lives. I learned these points many years ago at a seminar sponsored by the AAPS. Many of our physicians unfortunately are more concerned with their property rights and don’t seem to worry much about the right to life and even liberty as long as they live the “good life.” Many of them are getting panicky as they see the slavery coming and are joining the AAPS in hopes of being saved. Well, we certainly welcome them, but they should be reminded that the small band of courageous doctors who fought the good fight for many years are not going to abandon the very principles that gave the AAPS such strength against the great ignorant majority.
The great religious upheaval that we are now seeing was described by Hilaire Belloc as early as 1912 in his Servile State. He wrote about 100 books and has accurately described the rise of the Neo-Pagan state with its contempt for human life, its acceptance of fornication, the rise of perversion but its main mark in the moral order will be cruelty. (Partial birth abortion?) Its end point is despair. In its economic system paganism is marked with slavery. (HMOs?)
Hopefully, the AAPS will be able to survive this crisis and its leadership will not be diluted by its great increase in membership. We must hold on to all the principles in the Hippocratic Oath just as we must obey all the Ten Commandments, not just the ones that suit us.
George W. Merkle, MD
Originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1997;2(4):118-119. Copyright © 1997 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).