PajamasMedia has just published my latest health care OpEd, “ObamaCare vs. the Hippocratic Oath“.
My theme is that ObamaCare would fatally compromise doctors’ ability to uphold their Hippocratic Oaths to treat their patients according to their best judgment and ability.
This is adapted from my forthcoming article in the Spring 2010 issue of The Objective Standard. I’d like to thank Craig Biddle for giving me permission to excerpt and adapt more than the usual 600 words from that article to use in this PJM piece. In exchange, PajamasMedia included a link back to the TOS website at the end of this piece.
Here is the introduction:
ObamaCare vs. the Hippocratic Oath
President Obama’s health care “reform” plan has been criticized for being economically unsustainable, politically unpopular, and constitutionally suspect. But for many practicing physicians like myself, his plan contains an even greater but seldom-discussed flaw that overshadows those others. ObamaCare would fatally compromise doctors’ ability to uphold their Hippocratic Oath to treat their patients according to their best judgment and ability.
Whenever the government attempts to guarantee “universal health care,” it must also control that service, if only to control costs. Hence, it will inevitably seek to control how doctors practice. Accordingly, the White House Council of Economic Advisors has recommended controlling costs through “performance measures that all providers would adopt.” Physicians who strayed too far from government “comparative effectiveness” practice guidelines would be punished as “high end outliers.”
This will place your doctor’s medical conscience directly on a collision course with government bureaucrats…
(Read the full text of “ObamaCare vs. the Hippocratic Oath“.)