and women who admit that socialism in practice has disillusioned and enlightened them. They never were Socialists. They were, and are, social reformers. The pardonable
mistake they made in the beginning was that they failed
to recognize the totalitarian fist in the planned economy
Socialism is centralization, regimentation, direction,
compulsion, and conscription; any elementary textbook on
the subject implicitly confirms these affirmations. We have
been promised freedom from worry, freedom from fear,
freedom from want. The one freedom the State will not
voluntarily grant is freedom of the individual from the
The capitalist system will commit suicide, even before
communism has a chance to assassinate it, if it fails to
prove to the great majority, by both words and actions,
that it, and it alone, is capable of sustaining a high standard of fixing and the highest possible standard of life,
under liberty. It can do so. It has done so. But bow many
people in Great Britain or in the United States are aware
of this historic fact? I have well-founded reasons for the
suspicion that quite a number of ceipitalists have hardly
any intellectual appreciation of what the capitalist system
has done for them.
In view of my public platform activities in defense of
freedom in medicine it is, perhaps, not surprising that I
am privileged to enjoy the confidence ancl trust of a large-
circle of doctors. I, therefore, can write with humble
authority on what socialized medicine has done ancl is
doing to the medical profession because I have frequently
seen the effects with my own eyes. And what I have seen
Many doctors in Great Britain are breaking down under
the stresses and strains put upon them by the National
Health Act. They are frustrated, bewildered, enervated,
and disillusioned. Their bitterest enemies cannot accuse
them of not having put forward a conscientious effort tei
make the best of a bad job. Their best friends cannot
honestly overlook the fact that they brought most of their
misfortunes upon themselves or, if they didn't, then some
of their so-called leaders did it for them. But the time for
recrimination is long since past. Only the present and the
future bene significance in terms of salvation.
Despite all political protestations of goodwill and
equity, nationalized medicine, with its emphasis on centralization and its dependence on the "committee mind"
for its soulless functioning, cannot fail to degrade a greeit
calling and an honorable vocation which lives and has its
being in the voluntary spirit. It does not lend itself to
The British public is saddled with a National Health
Service expenditure which even the Minister of Health
admits heis reached the sky in prodigality. Over a billion
dollars a year i.s the bill that the British public i.s called
upon to pay for a health service which originally was
publicized as free.
Very tew people in Great Britain can seriously believe
that nationalized medicine is equivalent to getting something for nothing. The State ancl Father Christmas are not
even em speaking terms. Two outstanding features in
Britain's social services are seldom referred to by politicians, especially those who, for vote-catching purposes,
prefer to talk about privileges and rights rather than about
responsibilities and obligations. They are:
1. Almost everybody in tin- community is legally responsible
for a weekly contriheition, amounting to approximately two million dollars [total]. Every employee knows that his real salary
or wage, his net purchasing power, is the total of what is left
after income teex eend socieel insurance have been deducted at the'
source. This purchasing power is diluted by ;i purchase tax of
anything from 16?a per cent to 125 peT cent on wholesale prices
ancl ranging over a wiele' variety of gootls and services.
2. The Social Services, including National Health, are compulsory. It is not possible to contract nut of them. Rich and poor
and the not-so-rich and not-so-poor are indiscriminately fore-eel
into the scheme. Whether or not they intend to avail themselves
of the benefits, they must pay. Any recalcitrance is sternly discouraged by fines or imprisonment or both. That there is a
substantial minority of citizens in Great Britain today who
would contract out, if it were- possible to do so legally, is incontrovertible. Nationalized medicine is totalitarianism in action.
JT icuratively, the two main columns which stand at the
entrance of the edifice of medicine symbolize privacy and
secrecy. Without them the significance and personal quality of the relationship between doctor and patient are
meaningless. As the soul's frailties are the special concern
eif the priest, so the infirmities of the human body arc the
particular province- of the doctor. But neither priest n°r
doctor can accomplish his appointed task without the confidence, trust, and faith of those who seek his succor.
In an official leaflet issued to all householders in the
United Kingdom explaining the new social services, a
categorical guarantee is given in the following terms1
"Your dealings with your doctor will remain as they "|l
now, personal and confidential." The British communit)
had no sooner digested this political promise than the
Minister of Health issued Statutory Instrument Nunil"'r
506 that flatly contradicted the assurance and created 'j"
entirely new position in the Ministry's own relationship
with the doctors. This instrument unequivocally dofulCl,
this relationship in a section entitled "Terms of Service
which stressed that "every practitioner enrolled in tn
service is required to keep records of the illnesses of '"'
public patients and of his treatment of them in such fori* '
as the Minister meiy from time tei time determine, and
forward such records to the local Executive Council.
The local executive councils consist mainly of lay Pe /
sons who are thus placed in the privileged position °
acquiring intimate knowledge of the misfortunes of ofl
neighbors. The point I stress is that this procedure ine'
tably lends itself to abuse. Even if it is not abused loathe fact remains that the bureaucracy at higher levels is
possession of information that properly should never P9
out of the hands of the medical profession.
From time immemorial, doctors in Great Britain 0*
voluntarily accepted the Hippocratic oath as binding °Pj
them professionally. Indeed, the oath was strictly enforc
by the British Medical Association. j
Nationalized medicine has produced a new version
the deietor's dilemma: If the doctor abides by his HipP.,
cratic oath, he must disobey the State upon whom
now hergely dependent for his salary. On the other V ,
if he disregards his oath anel places his patients and c° jS
dences at the disposal of the Ministry of Health, n6
clearly guilty of unprofessional conduct.
When the State acquired all but an infinitesimal P.
of the institutional and private-practice medical senj
it took every precaution to insure that they entered
new system poor anel penniless. All the assets went > „
the State pool. All the liabilities were passed on to ^
taxpayers. This one-track technique of robbing Pete
Facts Forum News, June-
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