- Physicians' association calls itself 'the Delta Force
of private medicine'...
- In an age when doctors' associations routinely advocate
gun-control measures, expanded government-funded health insurance and ever-further
regulation of tobacco products, one organization goes against the flow,
supporting free-market principles in the world of health care.
- Since its founding in 1943, the Association of American
Physicians and Surgeons has dedicated itself to "preserving the sanctity
of the patient-physician relationship and the practice of private medicine."
- "AAPS believes in the oath of Hippocrates and that
the physician should work for his patient, not some third party,"
said Jane Orient, M.D., executive director of AAPS.
- The Hippocratic oath is a pronouncement of medical ethics
taken by physicians. Originally, the oath included a promise to do no harm
to patients "and in like manner I will not give to a woman a pessary
to produce abortion."
- "It's interesting that the 'do no harm' clause has
been eliminated from the supposedly updated oaths," Orient noted.
"We're seeing an inversion of medical ethics lately that is based
on population ethics, in which physicians are being indoctrinated to believe
that it's OK to sacrifice the individual to the good of the whole."
- One such area is mandated vaccinations. In an extraordinary
move, the AAPS recently voted to oppose compulsory vaccinations. "There
are increasing numbers of mandatory childhood vaccines, to which children
are often subjected without meaningful informed consent, including information
about potential adverse side effects," said an official statement.
- The resolution goes on to assert that "safety testing
of many vaccines is limited and the data are unavailable for independent
scrutiny, so that mass vaccination is equivalent to human experimentation
and subject to the Nuremberg Code, which requires voluntary informed consent."
- On other social issues, AAPS takes a limited-government
- "Public health approaches can be used as a pretext
for state intrusion into private affairs," said Orient. "You
have to know what people are doing so that you can try to change their
- For example, on the issue of tobacco regulation, AAPS
stands apart from other professional associations, which advocate government
- Stated Orient, "We don't think people should smoke
but it should not be used as an excuse for government intrusion into private
- In contrast, the American Medical Association actively
supports anti-tobacco programs sponsored by government agencies. In a March
letter to the Senate Committee on Appropriations, the AMA wrote: "On
behalf of its 300,000 physician and medical student members, the American
Medical Association urges the Senate Appropriations Committee to continue
to devote needed resources to the federal government's anti-tobacco programs."
- Additionally, the letter expressed support for the Clinton
administration's lawsuit against the tobacco industry. "The AMA strongly
supports adequate funding for the Department of Justice to pursue this
important lawsuit on behalf of U.S. taxpayers," the group wrote.
- Similarly, the American Academy of Pediatrics has taken
the notion of "comprehensive" health care to a new level, advising
pediatricians to question children on gun issues and media exposure. As
reported in WorldNetDaily, a California doctor even decided to drop a child
from his care after a parent expressed disapproval of a doctor-initiated
discussion about guns.
- Despite the trend toward tighter alliances between medical
professionals and government agencies, the Association of American Physicians
and Surgeons continues to advocate for private, individual-specific and
patient-directed health care. A champion of what it calls "true free-market
reforms (such as Medical Savings Accounts) as an alternate to more-of-the-same
nostrums that caused the crisis in medical costs," the group presses
on in fulfilling its mission.
- It has won a number of legal victories "for the
rights of patients and physicians," according to its website, including:
- "Protecting physicians against threats of Health
and Human Services' sanctions for unassigned billing for laboratory tests
at a time when such billing was perfectly legal (AAPS v. Bowen I and II);
- "Establishing the right of physicians to be heard
in federal court in a challenge to a fee freeze (Whitney v. Heckler);
- "Challenging the Health Care Financing Administration's
attempt to abrogate the freedom of patients and physicians to contract
privately if no Medicare benefits are claimed (Stewart v. Sullivan);
- Bringing to light the illegal secret operations of the
President's Task Force on Health Care Reform (AAPS v. Clinton)." Orient
summed up the organization's philosophy in one sentence: "We believe
in the U.S. Constitution, and we believe in scientific integrity."
The group, which calls itself "the Delta Force of private medicine,"
can be reached through its website.
Site Served by TheHostPros