When I get a chance I read Viewpoints, the busy electronic version of the Macon Telegraph (MT), which frequently has heated discussions. On September 5, a discussion centered on a MT reader who stated that although in good health at age 75, his doctor would not perform a PSA test or a colonoscopy because "it was not needed" and besides "something else would kill me before colon or prostate cancer does [given his age]."
It is very unfortunate that physicians are already impeding access to needed medical care (rationing) in preparation for ObamaCare. A very astute blogger posted an article of mine on this subject published in the MT back in 2010. It reads in part:
"And we better get used to the rationing and lack of choices we will increasingly be facing, as American medicine becomes more and more socialized...After years of medical innovations and advances and increasing cancer prevention (e.g., mammography, colonoscopy, and PSA testing) with the associated increases in survival rates in breast, colon, and prostate cancer — the word is out in the media and the medical politicians that some breast, colon, and prostate cancers may be 'slow growing and not as invasive as we thought,' and that, 'after all, they may not require treatment!' " Yes the word is filtering out through the public health establishment and the AMA that we should all go along with rationing care, and some doctors are listening.
The explanation for rationing medical care is not because of the science, but for what the social planners, supported by elitist bioethicists and organized medicine led by the AMA, call "the rational allocation of finite health resources" — treating patients not as human beings but as mere statistics. PSAs perhaps may not be medically justifiable at age 80, but the word on mammography and colonoscopy is not in yet. We should err on the side of preserving life! Let me tell you story: A great aunt of mine was found by colonoscopy to harbor a colon polyp at age 83. Her surgeon who practiced medicine according to the individual-based ethics of Hippocrates, and not the population-based utilitarian ethic espoused by government bioethicists, told her it would become malignant, and so she had it resected. Today, 13 years later, she is 96 remains healthy and still enjoys working in her garden and flowerbeds.
Miguel A. Faria Jr., M.D. is an Associate Editor in Chief and World Affairs Editor of Surgical Neurology International.
This letter to the editor was published in The Macon Telegraph on September 12, 2013.
Copyright ©2013 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.