Doctors, People, and Government

Doctors, People, and Government

Doctors, People, and Government

Doctors, People, and Government

Excerpt

The American people are entitled to the best medical service which science and art permit, and which they can afford to buy. They are entitled to get it at the lowest price consistent with high quality, or have it given them if they cannot pay. All the people have a right to medical service on these terms. They are not now getting it. Those are my major propositions.

The health of the citizen is his concern, but it is also his neigbhor's. His neighbor will be happier if he is healthy, and he will be happier if his neighbor is. The affairs of medicine, therefore, are the affairs of the people no less than of the medical profession. The country is a healthy community only insofar as its individual citizens are healthy, both in body and in mind. If the people interest themselves in the affairs of medicine they will get better medical service and get it more expediently. Indeed it appears that the people are interested, because a well-known columnist has recently told us that medical news now ranks with sex and self-improvement as leading subjects of interest to the public.

It may be true that we already have the best medicine in the world, but it is certainly true that, with the scientific and technical knowledge we now possess, it could be of even higher quality. Also the distribution of medical service throughout the country is very spotty, and its cost greater than many people can afford. It is among the public duties of the medical profession to seek ways to improve these conditions. They cannot do this unaided. They must . . .

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