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 would 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, only "to serve." . . . I have often wondered at the smugness with 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 that they expect to depend on, when they lie on an operating table under my hands?
— Dr. Thomas Hendricks, Neurosurgeon, explaining why he chose to cease practicing medicine
I suspect that we'll soon be seeing a lot of doctors following in Dr. Hendricks' foosteps, until all that are left are one of two groups:
- Those who are so devoted to their patients that they would continue practicing, even in a concentration camp, or
- Those who are so incompetent that the only way they could get patients is at the point of a gun.
And we're supposed to be grateful for the government's "management" of health care?