Thirty-four years ago, I stood with my 150 classmates in Thorn Hall, at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, as Dean James Eckenhoff asked us to raise our right hands and repeat after him:
I will apply measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.
I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.
I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work.
Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice.
Those words, from The Hippocratic Oath written in 400 B.C., changed my life and the lives of the thousands of patients my classmates and I have touched over the past thirty-four years.
Throughout my career, I have tried to add to that Oath my obligation “To PREVENT Harm”, through my work in Prevention and at The Institute For Preventative Sports Medicine. I keep this Oath as my foundation as I assess the latest reincarnation of health care reform – Obama Care. Take all of the politics out of the latest Big government / Big business controlled version pushed by The Obama Administration…. it all comes down to The Oath.
The sad fact is that the Obama Administration’s two part health care reform (Obama Care is 2 parts : The first part was hidden in The Stimulus Bill and the second part was The Health Care Bill passed into law in March of 2010) overhaul violates The Oath by stripping freedom from every person, family and business in Our country . This 19 ½ pound pair of documents, entitled “Affordable Health Care For Americans Act,” will cost taxpayers over $1.8 Trillion and counting, has and will institute dozens of tax increases totaling $740 Billion, will increase Medicare Premiums to Seniors by $70 Billion, will cost shift $34 Billion to State budgets, creates 159 new Federal Agencies to administer the law, further destroys the Doctor / Patient relationship and will cut Medicare benefits to Seniors by $ 500 Billion over ten years.
This current version of a Federal Government takeover of the health care delivery system is in a nutshell: a con to get CONTROL of every American’s health care and in the process strip every American of their health care Freedom. Freedom is stripped and control is implemented via Obama Care by the most unethical and inhumane means of cutting costs…. the rationing and denying of care. The proof is in the multiple rationing and enforcement boards created in both The Stimulus Bill and The Health Care Bill.
Every Doctor now has a choice: to go along with this Obamination of health care delivery and thereby violate The Oath OR to uphold The Oath, to stand firm for and with Our patients, to stand for quality health care delivery and oppose this Big Government/ Big Business takeover of the health and welfare of every American.
I have made my choice…. I hope you join in me in this battle in taking on the Big Government and Big Business takeover of health care delivery via Obama Care. To do otherwise is a violation of our ethical duty to Our patients and to The Oath. As George Washington said: “ I will die on my feet before I will live on my knees.” It is time to stand tall!
Photo by Tony Fischer Photography