TUCSON, Ariz., Oct. 6, 2016 After viewing the first presidential debate and the vice-presidential debate, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) suggests some questions to be asked in the next two debates about health issues that personally affect all Americans. Voters should also query candidates for Congress.
- Private medicine. Do Americans have the right to use their own earnings or savings, or charitable funding, to buy life-saving medical care privately? The proposed Clinton Health Security Act would have fined doctors $50,000 for providing a medical service outside the system.
- Conscience. Do doctors, nurses, and others have the right to refuse to participate in or enable services they believe to be murder, or that they believe harm their patients?
Sen. Tim Kaine proclaimed that abortion was a constitutional right, even at the point that pregnancy was about to be terminated by the birth of a living son or daughter. He stated that we needed to respect women's right to decide based on their own conscience, and that we can trust women.
"Are medical professionals entitled to the same freedom of conscience and trust?" asks AAPS executive director Jane Orient, M.D. "Or should they be punished, say by not being allowed to practice obstetrics, if they obey their conscience?"
A more recent issue is the Nondiscrimination Rule implementing the Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare"), which may require participation in gender-reassignment procedures. "Should the government punish a physician for refusing to render a minor child sterile if some authority demands this treatment for 'gender dysphoria'?" asks Dr. Orient. "Should the government ever override the Oath of Hippocrates, which requires physicians to use their own best judgment and avoid doing harm?"
- Privacy. Do patients have the same right to privacy as politicians? If politicians can keep their full medical record from the voters, can voters refuse to give permission to have their records in an electronic database accessible to government, insurers, hackers, and data sellers?
- Affordability. Do voters have the right to choose the most economical way to pay for their care—insurance for catastrophes only, and direct payment for most services? Or should they be compelled to use comprehensive "health plans" loaded with mandates, which add 30% or more to the cost—under pain of punishment by ObamaCare taxes?
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in virtually all specialties and every state. Founded in 1943, AAPS has the motto "omnia pro aegroto," which means "all for the patient."