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Friday, January 18, 2019

"Some people do not deserve health care reform?what would Maimonides have said?

The notion of someone "not deserving medical care reform" has appeared at least twice in writings by physicians. KevinMD taked about it here as he called attention to a commentary by Dr Edwin Leap. Dr.Leap is a long time medical blogger and ER physician and submitted this essay to an online version of a newspaper.

My first cursory reading of the essay and KevinMD's comments I erroneously read it to say " "Do some people not deserve medical care"

Sometime ago I wrote about a wonderful essay by Dr. Lawrence J. Hergoff published in JAMA which seems to address this line of thought.

Near the end of his current manuscript he quotes part of the Oath of Maimonides:

"May I never see in the patients anything but a fellow creature in pain."
I added:

Not as someone who deserves his dyspnea because of cigarette use defying years of advice to quit, not as someone whose ascites is his just due from profligate use of alcohol, not as someone who should not be in this country at all, not as someone who would not be having the myocardial infarction at all if he had done what his doctors told him to do and not as someone who is taking "scarce medical resources" from someone who deserves them more or for whom the treatment could be more cost effective but as a fellow human whose is in need of what physicians spent so many years of their lives preparing themselves to be able to offer.

The oath ( Maimonides) should remind us that being face to face with a fellow human in need

..makes judgment beyond the biomedical not only unnecessary but inappropriate.


Nicolas Martin said...

Tom Szasz wrote a valuable essay on this called "The Moral Physician."

james gaulte said...

Thanks for the link

Estelle Pipkin said...

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