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There’s always something to howl about

Senator Rand Paul: The claim of a “right” to health care implies a belief in slavery.

Say what you will about the Tea Party, it’s a small victory just to have words like these enunciated on the floor of Congress:

This is Ayn Rand from Atlas Shrugged making the same argument:

“I quit when medicine was placed under State control some years ago,” said Dr. Hendricks. “Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation? Do you know the kind of skill it demands, and the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill? That was what I could not place at the disposal of men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected to the privilege of enforcing their wishes at the point of a gun. I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward. I observed that in all the discussions that preceded the enslavement of medicine, men discussed everything — except the desires of the doctors. Men considered only the ‘welfare’ of the patients, with no thought for those who were to provide it. That a doctor should have any right, desire or choice in the matter, was regarded as irrelevant selfishness; his is not to choose, they said, but ‘to serve.’ That a man’s willing to work under compulsion is too dangerous a brute to entrust with a job in the stockyards — never occurred to those who proposed to help the sick by making life impossible for the healthy. I have often wondered at the smugness at which people assert their right to enslave me, to control my work, to force my will, to violate my conscience, to stifle my mind — yet what is it they expect to depend on, when they lie on an operating table under my hands? Their moral code has taught them to believe that it is safe to rely on the virtue of their victims. Well, that is the virtue I have withdrawn. Let them discover the kind of doctors that their system will now produce. Let them discover, in the operating rooms and hospital wards, that it is not safe to place their lives in the hands of a man they have throttled. It is not safe, if he is the sort of man who resents it — and still less safe, if he is the sort who doesn’t.”

The two arguments together make for a nice tableaux: Atlas Shrugged is fiction, but what makes it fiction is not the events in the book, but rather the fact that those events are instigated by conscious intent and are therefore accelerated. Everything we look upon in horror in the book will happen in due course, but at the slower pace of ordinary human aimlessness, the existential consequence of laziness and lies. Despite all the wild claims in its advertising, brutality produces only one thing: More brutes.

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  • 8 comments

    8 Comments so far

    1. KarenB May 13th, 2011 9:32 am

      I’m not sure if you’re being facetious in this article or not. This is the kind of doctor I would not want or trust. As he shows, there are doctors who go into medicine primarily for money, not to take care of the sick. I know of several people who are sick and uninsured who can’t get the healthcare they need. Over 40,000 people in the U.S. die annually because they don’t have access to healthcare. I don’t see this as something to be proud of.

    2. Teri Lussier May 13th, 2011 11:00 am

      >This is the kind of doctor I would not want or trust.

      I would think it’s a good thing then, that he’s not forced to care for you or your loved ones.

    3. KarenB May 13th, 2011 11:54 am

      True. Who wants to have a doctor who is either forced to see them, or feels forced to see them? :)

    4. Teri Lussier May 13th, 2011 3:07 pm

      Exactly, Karen. So this makes sense to me:

      >I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward. I observed that in all the discussions that preceded the enslavement of medicine, men discussed everything — except the desires of the doctors. Men considered only the ‘welfare’ of the patients, with no thought for those who were to provide it. That a doctor should have any right, desire or choice in the matter, was regarded as irrelevant selfishness; his is not to choose, they said, but ‘to serve.’

      Personally, I want my children treated by a doctor who is free, who answers to no one but us. I don’t want the doctor who is enslaved and answers to the govt treating my precious children.

    5. KarenB May 13th, 2011 3:27 pm

      Terri, I agree with what you’re saying. My issue is someone needs to treat people who don’t have private health insurance. And there aren’t too many doctors who want to treat people pro bono, or work out payment plans w/patients, or be a government provider. There are doctors now who won’t see patients who don’t have private health insurance but who can afford to pay for visits.

    6. Al Lorenz May 16th, 2011 9:46 am

      I don’t know what Karen does, but there must be someone who needs her services who doesn’t have the money to pay for them. Karen, should you be forced to provide your services for free, or at whatever amount the government says you must provide service for?

      It is pretty simple to understand when you put the shoe of enslavement on your own foot.

    7. KarenB May 16th, 2011 10:37 am

      Hi Al. I think in the case of medical care and “enslavement,” it’s a hot topic for most of us. Personally, I don’t like seeing family and friends suffer because they can’t get the medical care they need. And, when I hear doctors talk about their being “enslaved” or “forced” to treat patients, I don’t have much sympathy for them. But, these are my personal opinions. I grew up in a culture where doctors made house calls and when patients couldn’t afford to pay, the doctors worked with them on a payment plan, even if meant paying with chickens, food or working their bills off in some way. Or, possibly getting a bank loan to pay off medical expenses. And, Al, I don’t appreciate your making this personal, that since I have different opinions, it’s okay to use personal negative tactics to get your point across. If you don’t like my comments, that’s one thing.

    8. Jim Klein May 16th, 2011 8:25 pm

      Karen, I for one don’t see Al’s personal negative tactics, at least not against you.

      What about his point, anyway? Those doctors who traded or gave credit weren’t forced to do so; it was their decision. This is something different, don’t you think? If I have an aerospace degree, should I be forced to work for NASA, on its terms only? Why or why not?