1601 N. Tucson Blvd. Suite 9
Tucson, AZ 85716-3450
Phone: (800) 635-1196
Hotline: (800) 419-4777
Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.
A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943
Omnia pro aegroto

RESOLUTION 2001-1: Medical Care Is NOT a Right

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-bestowed entitlement to medical care will result in worse care for patients, violation of patients' and physicians' natural rights, and 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 initiatives to legislate such a "right" or entitlement.