Resolution passed by the Assembly to Oppose Single Payer Medical System
WHEREAS: The Constitution of United States protects natural and unalienable rights to life, liberty, and property; and
WHEREAS: A right is something one possesses free and clear that can neither be created nor revoked by government, while, in contrast, a privilege is an entitlement granted by government, which therefore has the power to limit, restrict, or revoke that privilege at its whim; and
WHEREAS: If government grants a "right" -- which is actually a privilege-- to medical care, the government has the power to ration and regulate medical care; to force patients to pay for others' care; and to abrogate patients' protected rights to choose their physician[s] and contract for care they deem necessary in accordance with the highest standard of medical practice; and
WHEREAS: Government may not rightfully deprive people of rights in order to bestow privileges on others; and
WHEREAS: The physician, as any citizen, has the constitutional right of freedom to enter into -- or to decline to enter into-- agreements, contracts, and association with parties of his own choosing; and
WHEREAS: A government-bestowed privilege to medical care imposes an obligation on a physician to provide a service to anyone and everyone as demanded by government, therefore violating the physician's rights to liberty and property; and
WHEREAS: No individual is entitled to the services or fruits of another's labor without just compensation; yet a "right" to medical care compels physicians to become indentured servants, bound to the state, in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment; and
WHEREAS: The "Principles of Medical Ethics" of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons states "The physician may choose whom he will treat..." and most physicians, because of compassion and generosity, do choose to provide medical care for the indigent; and
WHEREAS: The Oath of Hippocrates states: "I will prescribe regimen for the good of my patients according to my judgment..."; and
WHEREAS: The "Principles of Medical Ethics" of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons states: "The physician's first professional obligation is to his patient" and "...the physician should not dispose of his services under terms to conditions which tend to interfere with or impair the free and complete exercise of his medical judgment and skill or tend to cause a deterioration of the quality of medical care"; and
WHEREAS: A government-controlled or single payer system results in the loss of patients' control over their own medical care, and inevitably results in third-party rationing;
WHEREAS: A government-bestowed entitlement to medical care will result in worse care for patients, violation of patients' and physicians' natural rights, and to support such an entitlement is a breach of medical ethics;
THEREFORE: BE IT RESOLVED THAT: The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons declares that medical care is a not a right that can be bestowed by the state and that any laws, regulations, or policies that attempt to establish a government-mandated entitlement to medical care are not only unconstitutional and therefore illegal, but immoral and inimical to the physician's ethical principles;
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT: AAPS will actively oppose any and all state or federal initiatives to legislate such a "right" or entitlement via a government-controlled or single payer plan under any name, and urges all physicians who take seriously their medical ethics to do the same in the best interests of their patients.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT: AAPS urges all physicians to oppose a government-controlled or single-payer plan as harmful to patients, and therefore inconsistent with a high standard of medical ethics.