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Hi Doc, How’s It Going? 


How’s it going? It’s been a long time since we talked. That said, I’ve been talking about you and your colleagues a good bit with friends about how the medical profession performed during the last three or so years, and more specifically, how you and your colleagues really did when it came to helping people heal. 

In fact, a number of us—including, believe it or not, a small number of doctors who to put it mildly are perplexed with a lot of the changes they’ve seen in what used to be called the healing profession—have tried to reach out to those of you who went with the flow and overnight it seems, overturned (or acquiesced to the overturning of) long-standing clinical and ethical standards of the profession. 

You know, once important stuff like informed consent, diagnostic discretion, the doctrine of medical necessity, off-label prescribing, early care for treatable diseases, and the absolute privacy of the doctor-patient relationship.

But it’s funny that neither my concerned friends nor I have heard much, if anything, back from you or any of your colleagues who followed the new officialist line. 

Talking amongst our ignorant selves the other day, however, we decided that perhaps it’s because you’re really busy and just don’t have the time. 

After all, we realize that cramming in as many 15-minute visits a day as you can to meet revenue goals for the practice group you are a part of is, when all is said and done, really job #1 for you, especially if you want to keep the lifestyle you deserve and, of course, work so much harder to achieve than any other occupational group of people in society. 

As they say, “Once a thoroughbred always a thoroughbred,” and so when the trainer, or in this case the corporate investors or partners in your group say “Sprint!” and “Jump,” the only thing a lifetime winner like you, who has always been tougher and smarter than all the rest going back to grammar school, can do is say “How much faster?” and “How much higher?” 


That said, I would have thought that all that money the Feds threw at the hospitals for those untold thousands of little favors you guys did in slapping “Covid” on as many death certs as you could during the last three years might have given you guys a little more breathing space with such people. But I guess not. 

But what about those bonuses you and your group got from Big Pharma for getting as many of the beleaguered souls who came in through your door for myriad reasons to get injected with the shot? Didn’t that extra cash for the group grant you a little more leeway to spend more time on patients with real names, real lives, and individual problems who required individualized treatment plans? 

I guess not either. 

If nothing else, though, I suppose those shot bonuses helped out with the kids’ school tuition payments and/or made the luxury getaway with the fam a bit more affordable. No? 

Of course, I realize it mustn’t have always been easy to repeat “Safe and effective” over and over again to patients regarding an experimental use gene therapy about which there was no body of longitudinally collated data upon which to make either claim. 

But then again, pretending to be authoritative even when you haven’t a clue as to what you’re really talking about has long been a staple of medical education. Hasn’t it? 

It must have been especially trying when some of those annoying patients—you know the types I’m talking about—who, having been blessed with an internet connection and a browser decided to “do their own research” (ha-ha!) and who, during the 6 minutes remaining in the visit after the taking of vitals and the process of your loading them into your computer as you listened to them distractedly over your shoulder, would talk about how they’d actually read the FDA briefing documents for the vaccines and found out they weren’t even tested for their ability to prevent transmission, and who thus wondered how this squared with your second pitch (after “safe and effective”) about the need to take the jab to protect others and help us get to herd immunity? 

Or that “researcher” (eye roll) who came in with two positive antibody tests and two positive T-cell tests, and wondered why he should be taking an experimental gene therapy for something—a something moreover with a 99.85 percent overall survival rate and much higher still for those under 60—to which he was clearly already largely immune. 

Or that disrespectful wag who wondered why you and he were gagging yourselves with masks when two consecutive Cochrane reviews had shown the face coverings were largely useless when it came to inhibiting transmission of the dreaded 0.15 percent-killer of mostly very old and infirm people. 

Times that try a doctor’s soul, I know. 

Since you have always been at the top of your class, remembering every valence of every element in chem class at a time when mere mortals had to resort to cheat sheets, you must have thought something like: 

“What a bore to listen to people like this! I mean what could they possibly know that I don’t? As if their out-of-context data points–most likely supplied by Trumpite news outlets—could say anything to me I don’t already know! As if they with their silly ‘research’ could provide a halfway serious counterpoint to what the FDA, the CDC and virtually all my colleagues know to be the reality of this issue! True, I have never read any of the studies that these amateur “researchers” tried to bring to my attention. 

“But, I’m an MD dammit, and a former chief resident to boot, so I just can’t let people come into my office off the street to try and give me lessons. And if there really was anything to what they say, surely I’d have heard about it from other highly-trained docs, gotten a directive on it from the leaders of the practice group, or read something about it in the New York Times. If we were to start listening to the “research” of individual patients, we’d never get anything done! Those 15-minute slots would stretch to a half-hour or more, and that would, of course, ruin the group business plan. It’s at times like these that you just have to put your foot down. I may not have arguments, but I have the power. And isn’t that power and the prestige that goes with it mostly what being a doc is all about? I mean I didn’t succeed in this racket being as humble as the next guy!” 

I really do get it. You did what you had to do as a more enlightened person. And as you suggest, society’s betters just can’t go around listening respectfully and mindfully to others. 

But I am left with a couple of questions, the answers to which, try as you might, you won’t find in those textbooks and manuals you proved so good at memorizing during your professional ascent. 

How do you and others plan to put the “informed consent” and “medical necessity” genies back into the bottle? 

I mean, during the last three years you guys admitted through your acquiescence to the policy (perhaps the most powerful, if at the same time most cowardly, form of voting yes) that governments (working in tandem with Big Pharma) have the right to override the patient’s right, enshrined in the Nuremberg Codes, to free and informed consent regarding what goes into their bodies, as well as your right to create and administer individualized treatment plans for each of your patients. 

Having given away these powers that have long been accepted as basic to the art of healing for free, how if at all do you plan to get them back? 

Given that you and the majority of your colleagues showed no moral and intellectual ability to mount a counterargument this time, what makes you think you’ll be able to do so the next time they decide to pressure you all from above to do this again? 

Were you to try to resist, on what philosophical and ethical basis would you do so? 

And even if you do come up with an argument, what makes you think that those in power would listen to you? 

Why should they? 

You gave them what they wanted when they wanted it with little resistance. 

Should you protest a bit more this time, all they have to do is roll the tapes from the past few years of you all cheerleading for the effective abrogation of these precious rights and then say to you: “Are we to believe that you weren’t being truthful and thoughtful then?” 

Which, of course, would give them plenty of fodder for discrediting anything you say now. As they sometimes say in circles much less exalted than the ones you, of course, travel in, it seems “They kind of got you by the …..” 

Maybe I’m missing something. I mean, as an always-first-in-your-class type of guy you’re probably operating on another plane than me—your chess to my checkers—and thus probably have already come up with a perfect solution for getting back the doctor and patient rights you just threw away to the government and Big Pharma for nothing. 

For our sake and yours, I certainly hope this is the case.  

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  • Thomas Harrington

    Thomas Harrington, Senior Brownstone Scholar and Brownstone Fellow, is Professor Emeritus of Hispanic Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, where he taught for 24 years. His research is on Iberian movements of national identity and contemporary Catalan culture. His essays are published at Words in The Pursuit of Light.

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