by Dr. Nayvin Gordon / January 27th, 2018
For thousands of years physicians took oaths to always act in the patient’s best interest when providing care. At the heart of medical ethics, this moral code was passed down through the centuries and reaffirmed by The World Medical Association (WMA) in 1949 and again in 2006. Additionally the WMA specified: “A physician shall not allow his/her judgment to be influenced by personal profit or unfair discrimination,” and “shall not receive any financial benefits or other incentives solely for referring patients or prescribing specific products”.
Medical ethics ran head long into The HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) Act of 1973. The passage of this act set the stage for the undermining of long established medical ethics. The HMO Act was designed specifically to reduce costs, by charging patients a monthly fee for a set package of health care. The Act was passed with the knowledge that there had been no systematic analysis done to show that it would not negatively impact health care. Nonetheless, the Government gave millions of dollars in direct financial assistance to develop the HMO which was designed to be a profit making business.
This HMO economic arrangement put the physicians and other health care providers’ financial interest into conflict with the needs of their patients. The monthly pot of money must provide for profit, salaries, wages and health care. If too much is spent on the patients,…