Reform the Pennsylvania Medical System By Upholding the Rights of Medical Providers

by | Jan 24, 2003

An acute disruption in vital health care services in Pennsylvania may have been prevented for now by Gov.-elect Ed Rendell’s and Gov. Mark Schweiker’s “stop-gap” economic intervention. However, the recent threats issued to all the state’s physicians regarding their licensing and practice privileges in the state by the Secretary of the Commonwealth sent an ominous […]

An acute disruption in vital health care services in Pennsylvania may have been prevented for now by Gov.-elect Ed Rendell’s and Gov. Mark Schweiker’s “stop-gap” economic intervention.

However, the recent threats issued to all the state’s physicians regarding their licensing and practice privileges in the state by the Secretary of the Commonwealth sent an ominous message to physicians regarding how the state regards their services.

By implying that a physician considering voluntarily leaving the state or “withdrawing his services” would be subjected to prosecution for abandonment of patients or subject to revocation of medical licensing, the state tells physicians that in Pennsylvania, a physician has no right to his own life, his own work and his own services, but that others do.

The ability of a doctor to provide vital services apparently erases his own right to support his own life and pursue his own happiness by making personal decisions regarding whether, where, and under what terms to offer his personal services, and gives the government the right to compel him to provide those services at his or her own personal and professional sacrifice.

It is true that the Hippocratic Oath does obligate a physician to apply his or her special medical knowledge and skills for the purpose of alleviating the pain, suffering and illness of his patients.

However, as any other free citizen in a free society, a physician offers those vital services to his patients by voluntary consent, for mutual benefit and for the purpose of supporting his or her own life and pursuing his or her own happiness — not out of moral obligation to “serve others at personal and professional expense”.

It is the sworn duty of every elected government official in America to protect the inalienable rights of all its citizens, including its health care providers, to their “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” under the Declaration of Independence.

The alleged purpose of the State’s medical licensing power is to protect the rights of its citizens by preventing medical fraud and abuse by unqualified, incompetent medical practitioners — when in fact medical licensing was originally foistered by the state at the behest of the AMA to limit the supply of doctors, and to prevent competition of AMA doctors from non-AMA doctors. (See “The Assault on Integrity” in CUI for how the market deals with fraud and qualifications through private certifying agencies).

Now the chickens are coming home to roost as, medical licensing is being used as a means of extorting demands from the competent and skilled providers of those services, by threatening to revoke the State’s permission for a physician to offer the professional services which are his livelihood, should he fail to accept the personally and professionally damaging terms the state chooses to dictate.

Our elected state officials best protect the lives of all the state’s citizens through upholding their sworn duty to protect the rights of those citizens who are health care providers – by creating and maintaining a system of laws that protect the legal and economic ability — that system is lassez-faire capitalism — and cease to destroy the personal financial incentive of health care providers who continue to offer their vital services, upon which the lives of the citizens and economic vitality of this state depend.

Evan Madianos, MD is a radiologist in clinical practice in the Philadelphia area.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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