Forcing a Doctor to Care


I have seen my fair share of physician burnout over the past twenty years.   I, myself, have toyed with it many times.  I have also seen physicians who just didn’t care.  There is no other way to explain it.  They weren’t bad people but you could tell that their empathy was almost on empty.  I was reminded of this when I read this article called If I Point a Gun at My Doctor, Will He Still Care?  I won’t put the whole article here but here are the highlights that I like:

  • In other words, doctors “didn’t build that.” They didn’t invest the years of rigorous work and study; rather, the government invested in them and has a right to a return on the investment that it owns. Medical education is a thus privilege paid for with lifelong obedience and servitude.  That conclusion follows from the assertion that healthcare is a right. Whenever someone tells me he has a “right” to health care, I ask, “From whom? From me?” This question exposes the claim to this “right” for the robbery and slavery that it is.
  • You may believe you have this right, but consider this: Do you really want to exercise your “right” to healthcare on an unwilling physician? What kind of care do you think you’ll receive?
  • Now imagine angry mobs of folks waving their ObamaCare “insurance” cards, demanding their free healthcare outside a closed and vacant doctor’s office. The government cannot change human nature. If government points its guns at the doctors to make them participate, the “healthcare” that is delivered under these conditions will be different from what the mobs expected. In fact, it won’t be medical care at all.
  • You don’t want to trust your life to someone who has a gun pointed at him. Perhaps the fear of the care rendered by coerced doctors will inspire a new “wellness.” Staying as far away as you possibly can from such doctors may be the most self-preserving move you can make in the near future.

Those doctors that I mentioned in the beginning of this piece are the same ones he talks about in the last highlighted section.  And trust me, you want to stay away from them.  Since they are growing in numbers, I fear only the worst as the insurance companies, the government, and administrators also wave their guns at them.   You can never force someone to care but you can easily burn them out so they DO NOT care.   And that is what I see happening.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  5 comments for “Forcing a Doctor to Care

  1. Gehl
    December 9, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Who is John Galt?

  2. EDBMD
    December 4, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    “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 their operating rooms and hospital wards, that it is not safe to place their lives in the hands of a man whose life 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.”
    ~ Dr. Hendricks, ‘Atlas Shrugged’

  3. Lagaya
    December 4, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Sounds just like Pat would write. I guess there’s another big Ayn Rand fan out there…

    • Sir Lance-a-Lot
      December 4, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      So, does that cryptic remark indicate that you believe that I should be made to provide medical care against my will (and against the Fourteenth Amendment), so as to protect the “rights” of the populace?

    • Pat
      December 5, 2013 at 1:38 am

      Bombastically yours… 😉

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