The healthcare plan and the Hippocratic Oath
This is from Paul Hsieh, M.D.: Government-Run Health Care vs. the Hippocratic Oath:
When medical students graduate from medical school, they take an oath—the Hippocratic oath—in which they solemnly swear, above all, to use their best judgment in treating their patients. Doctors hold this oath as sacrosanct; they regard upholding it as morally mandatory, and violating it as out of the question. But in order to uphold this oath, in order to practice medicine in accordance with their best judgment, doctors must be free to practice in accordance with their best judgment. Unfortunately, U.S. politicians are working feverishly to prevent doctors from upholding the Hippocratic oath. How so? By implementing government-run health care.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently recommended restricting mammogram screening to women over age fifty, despite the fact that medical organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the American College of Radiology—whose conclusions are based on years of peer-reviewed scientific research—have long recommended that women begin routine mammography at age forty.
The USPSTF argues that eliminating mammograms for women between ages forty and forty-nine would result in only one additional cancer death per nineteen hundred women screened—an increase in death that they evidently consider acceptable.
The California state government has begun using the USPSTF guidelines to determine which services patients in the Medi-Cal program may and may not receive. (Medi-Cal is the California equivalent of Medicaid in other states.) Government-funded health programs in New York and Ohio have already begun turning away women under fifty seeking mammograms. And, Sibelius’s reassurances notwithstanding, Congress is considering giving the USPSTF legal authority to determine which screening tests will or will not be covered for patients with private health insurance.