Friday, June 10, 2011

Haynes: The Changing Character of Medicine

The 6/9/2011 edition of PajamasMedia has published another fine OpEd from Dr. Beth Haynes, "The Changing Character of Medicine: Are We Headed in the Right Direction?"

One crucial excerpt:
When you are ill, do you go to your physician to receive a government (or industry) derived practice guideline? Or do you want your physician to be able to apply his independent judgment to your individual situation? Which kind of doctor is more likely to be willing to rely on his own judgment in service of your individual best interests? One steeped in the ethics of social justice, beholden to a third-party for payment? Or a physician whose livelihood is directly related to and primarily dependent upon the quality of care he provides to you, the patient?

What if you have an unusual illness, or even a common illness for which a new but not yet thoroughly tested and approved treatment is available? Which physician would be more likely to suggest and/or support an innovative treatment? A doctor whose job depends on keeping the politicians or administrators happy, or the physician whose primary loyalty is to you?
(Read the full text of "The Changing Character of Medicine: Are We Headed in the Right Direction?".)

Dr. Haynes is asking the questions that all Americans should be asking.