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Recipe for Disaster: Pandemic, Panic, Politicians, Patents, Patients, Physicians, Police State

Are physicians "providers"? Or are we "professionals"? Are we employees? And is what we do for a living a "profession" or a "vocation"? I do know that when we give up our autonomy, and allow our actions to be dictated by third party payers (i.e. insurance companies, politicians, employers), we have given up an essential part of ourselves, in favor of security. This issue was brought to my attention this morning, when I read an article in the Journal of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons by its President, Kristin S Held, MD. Her name means "hero" in German - and she is one of the few who are not remaining silent about the erosion of our civil liberties - the very foundation upon which our country was established. Whether face masks curb the spread of the new corona virus seems, at this point, to be still a matter of opinion. Whether we choose to wear a face mask probably reflects more on our level of either fear or courtesy toward others, depending on which side of the fence we choose to adopt. But when medical therapy begins to be dictated by politicians with no medical training, that truly signals the beginnings of a police state, and I will not be silent. We have come too far in this country to think about falling back into such a condition. Let us be courteous, let us do our best to stay healthy and to care for the sick, according to the oath we swore when we graduated from medical school. And let us encourage the expression of diverse opinions. I'm not a big fan of "keep the peace or I will shoot you" ideology. I am, on the other hand, a big fan of "keep the peace". And remember always, the pen is far mightier in the long run than the sword.

The full text of the article is found here (with permission from the Journal) -