Medicine & Liberty : Network of liberty oriented doctors

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And Here Comes Veterinarian Medicine

Third party payers bring veterinarian principles into human medicine. The treatment of a sick animal depends on the wishes of his owner. Pets, however, are better off than humans: they can count on the empathy of their masters. (Editor's note: and on quicker access to high-tech diagnostic equipment, now easily available for animals yet growingly rationed for ailing humans!)

It has taken us less than 50 years to move from human medicine based on Hippocratic ethics, to social security systems based on veterinarian principles applied to humans. The upcoming Swiss constitutional amendment to be voted by Swiss citizens on June 1st confirms this trend.

Veterinarian medicine is not short of competence, technology and even of empathy. Its specificity is that it is centered on animals. The sick animal is not the owner of its own body. Whether he will receive treatment or not and the extent to which he will be treated depends on the decisions of his master and on the amounts the master is willing or able to spend on veterinarian services.

Present third party healthcare systems are based on this veterinarian principle. In this case the « owners » are the bureaucrats and the sickness fund managers who decide when, where and how treatments will be conducted. In many cases domestic pets are better off than sick humans: a sincere affectionate attachment will often lead their master to go to great lengths to ensure they receive the best possible treatment. This emotional parameter is totally absent when it comes to sickness fund managers whose only focus is that of diminishing costs of treatment in order to protect their own incomes and privileges

Ernest Truffer MD

May 24, 2008