My comments against monopolist doctors have offended some people, such as doctor friend, Yadu Singh, who believes that: “Condemning whole medical profession and ignoring their role and contribution to people’s well being is grossly offensive, irresponsible and objectionable!”
My comments were exceptionally strong but I believe that I also provided exceptionally strong evidence to support my comments. I’m in the business of truth, and if I’m wrong I’ll gladly apologise for any unwarranted offence caused. But if what I'm saying is the truth (which I believe it is), and the truth offends someone, then so be it. That has (unfortunately for the opponents of the truth) been the nature of truth all along.
But you will ask? Who is to determine the truth? The answer: Only each of us using our own mind, attempting to understand what the other person is saying and paying attention to the evidence.
So please do me the favour of understanding my arguments and evidence carefully before you think I've gone overboard.
With this preface, let me elaborate.
1) My issue is NOT with medical science but with the monopoly profession of ‘doctors’
Let me remind us all, that the biological science doctors make use of belongs to ALL OF HUMANITY, and was NOT invented by doctors. Doctors are mere dispensers of that knowledge, just like a petrol station attendant who dispenses petrol: he is not the creator of the petrol! A mere milkman, a mere retailer of biological science, is a doctor.
Scientific knowledge is universal and does not restrict its supply to a particular profession. Science does not deal with the business of “prescriptions” or monopoly rights for a particular profession. That is sheer POLITICS, a desire to grab super-normal profits, not science.
In real life, it is a range of trades and guilds that create monopolies and thus pad their own pockets.
Every profession has tried, at one time or other, to pad its own pockets by restricting entry. At one time, it was felt that typing was a specialised skill that required special “qualifications”. There was perhaps a guild of typists (OK, I don't know this for sure but I imagine such a thing might have existed). Later, there probably was a guild of petrol dispensers, who objected if anyone dispensed petrol by themselves. Today, however, people type their own letters and dispense their own petrol.
The point being that what ONE human can do, ANY other human can do, with appropriate care. And medical science does NOT need a specialised dispenser (doctor). ANYONE can dispense it – provided they put in the requisite effort.
We don't need a priest to reach God (assuming God exists). We don't need an intermediary between us and medical science.
I am an avid devotee of medical science, an active reader of medical literature. My first passion was biology, a passion that has never left me for a single day. Brain science attracts me the most, of all aspects of science, but all kinds of biological or any other science remains my first love, my fascination, my passion.
Research papers published by pure scientists of the human body are usually very unpretentious, just like papers of any other good science. Having done a fair bit of statistical work (and science) in my own life, I appreciate and largely agree with the way medical science operates.
In almost all cases, a multiplicity of confounding factors are involved in any study, and academic papers are full of words of caution about the applicability of their findings. Humility is the mark of medical science. And on almost no subject in medical science does consensus exist – which is usually the way good science works. Knowledge grows VERY slowly and incrementally. There is never an end to learning.
Unfortunately, when you visit a doctor you will NEVER get the sense that you are meeting a scientist. All you will sense is a pretend “know-all” who doesn’t want to know either about your symptoms or your own study and analysis, but wants to bombard you with his opinions which are often VERY, VERY wrong. A doctor is often the exact opposite of a scientist (the latter being marked by a proclivity to ask questions and display ignorance).
But it is not this attitude of doctors that bothers me. All “experts” with a few silly pieces of paper (like my PhD "degree", for example) tend to have foolish, grandiose notions about themselves. That’s just human nature. We can't change such attitudes.
What bothers me is other things, the more substantive things, the attempt by doctors to hijack our liberty, to hijack our birthright to CARE FOR OUR OWN BODY THE WAY WE WANT, using all knowledge and tools we can command with our money, brain, and power. One feels like a chicken caught inside a small cage when one visits the average doctor, not an equal human entitled to be carefully heard and answered.
2) Doctors are NOT custodians or ‘owners' of medical science
I know I've implied this above, but it bears repetition: Medical science is not rocket science (even rocket "science" is essentially trivial). All it needs is diligence. Anyone with basic intelligence can readily understand medical science with some care and diligence (including reading academic medical science publications), and become up-to-speed on the latest state of knowledge.
Doctors are not custodians of "secret" medical knowledge.
And so, wherever I find doctors fumbling like bumble headed fools, incapable of understanding my problem or finding a solution, I take recourse to my own mind's capacities by investing time to download, print, and read all major, latest journal articles on the subject.
I primarily read original, peer-reviewed medical science literature, something that most doctors in that discipline may often not be aware of (since they don't necessarily have the same incentive).
I go to the source of knowledge (the "Bible") circumventing ignorant "priests". Let doctors remember that knowledge is READILY AVAILABLE today, and they do not have any monopoly over the human brain which is available readily to ALL of humanity, including (shockingly!) to their patients!
3) The average doctor is seriously INCOMPETENT
There is a simple prediction of basic economics: that if you block competition in a market, that industry will become uncompetitive, and its practitioners incompetent.
In BFN I have shown how IAS officers (the smartest of the smart anywhere in the world) become seriously incompetent after a few years in their highly protected sinecures. So also doctors ACROSS THE WORLD quickly become incompetent given the protections and anti-competitive restrictions they have fought for, and applied to their profession.
As a result, a few years after graduating they perhaps become unaware of the latest information in their own subject, and are therefore unable to engage in scientific discussion with their patients, particularly patients who, upon not getting cured, want to engage in a SCIENTIFIC conversation as equals.
In my case perhaps 98 per cent of my visits to doctors have been infructuous; wasted; leading to no improvement. Doctors either fail to diagnose, or they fail to diagnose correctly, or if they do diagnose correctly (rarely), they sometimes fail to prescribe correctly. And I'm not even talking of human errors here.
If any other profession had such a dismal performance record (imagine pilot who crashed his plane 98 per cent of the time), that profession would have been cut loose by the public long ago, and sent back to the drawing board.
But not doctors, for they have formed, over the years, a very strong monopolistic guild. And they have engaged in the worst forms of regulatory capture, protecting their interests at the expense of the citizen.
4) Did Hippocrates ask for state control and protection of the medical profession?
Hippocrates did not demand government-protected licensing and monopoly rights for the medical profession (or if he did, I'm not aware of it).
Doctors and hakims in the past, emerged from amongst those who liked medical science and spent time to learn it. Once they learnt the science they did NOT demand government licensing or monopoly rights. They set up a shop, like a barber or grocer, and allowed their customers to come and decide whether their wares were good value. Good doctors then became rich, and bad doctors went bankrupt. There was no destruction of human liberty.
But today all that has changed. Doctors today can’t imagine a situation without the use of COERCIVE POWERS of government to compel citizens to forfeit their liberty and rights to doctors.
It is this monopoly that I strongly object to, not the fact that there should be doctors, and not medical science.
I want to know this: why do doctors need a “right” to “prescribe”?
Dr. Yadu Singh says, “You are entitled to self-harm but harming others is definitely a crime”.
I’m not saying that I want to “prescribe” medicines to others! When did I EVER ask for any “right” to prescribe for others? Do note that I don’t want that “right” to be given to doctors, either. Doctors are welcome to suggest a particular medicine, but not use the dictatorial language of "PRESCRIPTION" (do you now sense how terribly objectionable and patronising this word is?). Who the HELL are you to "prescribe" anything to me? Even a priest does not prescribe, he merely recommends.
All I’m saying is that I must have the right to buy whatever medicine I WANT TO, based on my own anaylsis.
And I want ALL regulation that claims to prevent citizens from harming themselves to go. As JS Mill wrote:
That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinion of others, to do so would be wise, or even right.
Why do doctors use the coercive power of the state to block my BIRTH RIGHT over my own body and mind – so long as I don’t harm others. That is the basic principle of liberty that I’m talking about.
I trust no doctor will object to REPEALING laws that create monopoly rights for doctors, and for making medical drugs available in the open market to CITIZENS, just like any other product.
I agree that no child should have the right to buy drugs, so yes, by all means restrict access to medical drugs to adults over 18. But to have adults over 18 PREVENTED COERCIVELY from buying medical drugs by forcing them to pay doctors for a “prescription” is a travesty of human liberty.
That is why doctors – under the current dispensation – are best called rapacious (since they charge big money for information that is readily available) and unaccountable (they refuse to given any guarantee of a cure).
Would you not agree, Dr. Yadu Singh that someone who:
a) charges rapaciously for a "service" that is not needed (the “service” of restricting access to a pharmacy!),
b) charges VERY heavily without delivering the product (the cure)
is basically an enemy of our liberty, of our humanity?
I ask doctors to show good faith by:
a) REFUSING to “prescribe”, but suggest particular drugs or courses of treatment to patients.
b) DEMANDING the repeal of all laws that give doctors monopoly powers
c) REFUSING to charge without first delivering the cure (i.e. you cure me first, THEN I pay).
Doctors can also show good faith to humanity by humbly discussing MEDICAL SCIENCE with their patients, and guiding their patients on their journey of learning about their own body.
Surely you’ll agree, Dr. Yadu Singh, that Hippocrates would have approved of these simple suggestions?
All I’m asking for is QUALITY, INTEGRITY and RESPECT. Is that too much to ask of the medical profession?
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