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Thursday, January 28, 2010
In the ongoing debate over what a useful reform of the health care insurance system might look like, conservatives usually mention tort reform (and rightly so) as a necessary step in reducing health costs. Of course, since the Left is completely in the pocket of trial lawyers, nothing gets done. But before we moan about how terrible it is that we have to pay $500 a month in health care premiums because of all the evil lawyers, let us not forget where the fault really lies: we the people. If we Americans weren't greedy little misers who saw every catastrophe as a pay day and every accident as a get-rich-quick scheme, we wouldn't be in this mess. Sure, many of the trial lawyers in the pernicious medical litigation system are snakes and to be despised. But you can lead a person to court all you want but you can't make him sue. We complain about health care costs, but, ironically enough, WE are the reason they're so high. We've become a deeply litigious society.

If Americans would come out from under the heavy burden of health insurance, they must see the true enemy, and it is us. We are both the Pied Piper and the residents of Hamelin; both demanding payment and deploring the cost. If we are to be free, we must repent and turn away from our inclination to sue. And this starts with the Church (1 Corinthian 6:7).

Don't forget what happened to the children of Hamelin...


Michael Kirsch, M.D. said...

You are spot on. No case ever gets filed unless a person sues. This is not the lawyers' fault. But, the current system fosters greed and entitlement. If the corrupt and unfair system were reformed, there would be fewer litigants looking to cash in. See under Legal Quality

Chris A said...

There are definite problems with the legal system, no doubt. And it goes much deeper than what has been addressed here, but I think greed is the principle offender. And I think you see it not only in the legal system, but you see it in the Medical Industrial Complex.

I have no beef with doctors per se, but I do have very serious problems with modern Western medicine, both in philosophy and practice. It is a system whereby health is secondary to treatment. The emphasis is on tests, drugs, treatments, vaccines, surgeries, rather than prevention and healthy living. And I don't have the time or space to explain how the Rockefellers molded the American medical system long ago, but they did. Look it up. Much of the ways in which we view medicine in our country, and even the ways doctors are educated, we owe to them.

Beyond that, the ways we treat illness leads to more illness. Take a sick person, hospitalize them, feed them hospital food, and they may get sicker rather than better. You confine them to a germ-ridden environment and don't provide them with proper nutrition. Or you take infants and small children, shoot them up with all kinds of vaccines that contain known carcinogenic agents, MSG and other excitotoxics, animal DNA and RNA, human fetal tissue, mercury, etc. and what do we suppose is the natural result of that? It may not manifest right away, but sooner or later there are consequences. And somebody is eventually going to get paid. That's the idea.

Am I saying it is wrong for doctors and drug companies to make a profit? No, but I think it is wrong for them to make profits at the expense of peoples' health when they know there is a better way and they see it in their best interest to suppress that way. And people really actually think that the Medical Industrial Complex is trying to cure AIDS or cancer. Only if such treatments were more profitable than what is currently available would something like that be seriously explored.

I recently was able to look at a study that was being shared internally with medical professionals. In other words, it wasn't public. And in the study, they showed conclusively a definite link between the increase of children exposed to radiation from X-rays to increased incidents in cancer among kids. They also cited a case where an X-ray technician exposed a kid to hundreds of times the amount of radiation that he was supposed to because he couldn't get the image right. And what? The parents shouldn't sue now?

Chris A said...

One other thing. If you want to see evidence of greed in the Medical Industrial Complex, you need look no further than the recent bogus H1N1 scare. Not only was it wildly exaggerated by governments and international agencies, there was an entire media campaign fueling the profits of vaccine manufacturers GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, and Novartis.

How many can honestly say that for a few weeks every time they turned on the TV, they weren't bombarded with scare-mongering - images of long lines and tales of vaccine scarcity, etc. And what's more, some of the vaccine manufacturers were able to cash in by dispensing last years flu vaccine. For those who don't know, every year they come up with a new vaccine for influenza based on a GUESS as to how it will mutate. Of course, it is a mathematical impossibility for them to ever get it right anyway, but people were so scared about H1N1, they pacified them with the vaccine from the previous year and encouraged them to come back when H1N1 vaccines were available. It was an artificial scarcity campaign.

All this after the WHO admitted that they believed the H1N1 vaccine to be about 30% effective. But never mind that, everyone - especially small children and elderly people - were encouraged to get injected with a vaccine that is believed to be a potential cause of GBS. Okay, get a vaccine that won't work and risk contracting a disease. Sounds reasonable.

Michael Kirsch, M.D. said...

I have reviewed your fine comments carefully, and agree with many of your points. I invite you, at your convenience, to visit my blog share your views on posts that interest you. Judging by your comments, we have many common views, many of which I express on my blog postings. While I am a practicing physician, I am aware of many flaws in the system, and I am not afraid to point them out. I took heat all over the blogosphere for my emergency room post. However, we need to be cautious before using a broad brush of greed against medical industries. I think that many of these industries are unfairly and selectively demonized.

Darius said...

Good comments, Michael and Chris. I want to be clear that I definitely think there is a place for medical malpractice... it would be asinine to get rid of all lawsuits as it would lead to terrible abuses. But at the same time, we've become a society that thinks that if a doctor ACCIDENTALLY kills our loved one, everything will be made right with the right amount of money. No hands are clean in this mess, but most people are not lawyers or doctors, but all are potential victims of a medical accident. How we handle being wronged (whether intentionally or innocently) affects society.

Chris A said...

Dr. Kirsch,

I'll definitely check out your blog. And to be perfectly clear, I'm not anti-doctor. We all have needed doctors at some time in our lives, and I know that there are a lot of good doctors out there. In my experience, every medical doctor I have ever met with was a descent person, save one who was a complete lunatic.

And I understand the positions of doctors whose backs are against the wall because they have to go into so much debt to get their educations, and then their malpractice insurance is astronomical. But quite honestly I do distrust them generally - not because they're bad folks - but because of the system that I cannot separate them from.

My daughter's pediatrician is an excellent doctor in my opinion because she encourages us to read the medical literature (much of which I also distrust by the way)and is open to different approaches to treatment. In that regard, I think she is probably in the minority. Many doctors discourage this sort of thing, I think because it threatens their priestly role in society.

Michael Kirsch, M.D. said...

Chris, I look forward to your visit. I applaud your skepticism. I wish more patients and physicians practiced it. Of course, if skepticism is taken too far, it loses its value. I enjoy the dialogue.

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Darius' book montage

The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
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