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"Not dishonest"

That's the description given by one of the doctor's handing out sick notes to Wisconsin teachers who are missing work to demonstrate against Governor Scott Walker's policies.

Paul Hsieh at Pajamas Media opines on the behavior and what it likely means for ObamaCare:

In Madison, Wisconsin, the MacIver News Service spotted a group of people in white coats purporting to be physicians agreeing to sign "sick" notes for protesters in seemingly excellent health, thus allowing them to miss work without penalty. One doctor signing notes was apparently a clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin.

One blogger posted the fake "sick" note he received from the doctors. He observed, "I am not a teacher, but I managed to get a note. They did not ask for any identification or where I might teach. They were literally handing these out to anyone and everyone."

University of Wisconsin law professor Ann Althouse spoke with one of these doctors who was completely unapologetic for his actions, saying that it was "not dishonest" but rather "an ok thing to do" because it was in the interest of "social activism."

These sorts of moral rationalizations are an entirely predictable outcome of the new form of "progressive" medical ethics being taught to American medical students.


But what will happen under a new generation of doctors who have been taught that the individual patient's welfare must be balanced with "social" considerations -- such as the cost to the government or to "society"? Suppose you see one of these newly trained doctors at the local Accountable Care Organization because you are suffering from the worst headache of your life. He performs a brief physical exam, then tells you that according to the new ACO practice guidelines, you don't need a MRI scan of your brain -- just take two Tylenol and call him in the morning. Can you be 100% sure that he's truthfully advising you in your best medical interest? Or might he be compromising your medical interests to satisfy the ACO bean counter who will reward him based on how many MRI scans he saves the organization?

The new medical ethics allows doctors to salve their consciences by telling themselves that restricting care to patients serves the greater "social" good. Most people have a powerful (and natural) need to believe that the work they are doing is morally worthwhile. Very few people can knowingly work in a fashion they believe to be ethically wrong. The new code of medical ethics gives doctors the internal psychological moral "cover" they need to allow themselves to continue practicing according to government guidelines. It allows them to act as agents of medical rationing, while telling themselves that "I'm just being socially responsible" -- the 21st-century medical version of, "I was just following orders."

This is the future folks.  This is what ObamaCare will become.

Bet on it.

Unless we find ways to stop it.


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Comments (24)

Fraud deployed in the servi... (Below threshold)
James H:

Fraud deployed in the service of a pro-labor agenda. Lovely.

Some of the pro-walker prot... (Below threshold)

Some of the pro-walker protesters should get video of Doctors handing out the fake notes and bring it to the AMA. Assuming they are all even real Doctors.

"Not Dishonest"Well,... (Below threshold)

"Not Dishonest"
Well, you might have a point there, Rick, since Liberism is a known disease.

These were all salaried phy... (Below threshold)

These were all salaried physicians working for an institution that supports either tacitly or openly their political agenda. Some were Residents still in training who can not work outside their clinics. Federal regulations, not State ones, are driving physicians out of solo practice, where they are accountable to their patients and community directly, into large organizations. You can see them proudly wearing their U of WI white coats at this event, suggesting at least this was supported by the University. Yes, this is the fine future of Medicine that managed care and its spawn, large government payors and lack of patient responsibility for paying has created.

I wish Walker would just fi... (Below threshold)

I wish Walker would just fire them already! Reagan would have. Republican leaders today need to get a pair.

There's absolutely nothing ... (Below threshold)

There's absolutely nothing to worry about! A doctor who would lie without qualms to protect a fellow traveler would never, say, lie about your condition to deny you treatment, would they? Unless there was a "greater good" involved, of course!

I'm assuming that fatal dos... (Below threshold)
John S:

I'm assuming that fatal doses of morphine to anyone over the age of 50 unlucky enough to land in a hospital will be okay because it is in the interest of "social activism." After all, anyone over the age of 45 cannot get a job in the United States, so they are a social burden to be exterminated.

"University of Wisconsin la... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

"University of Wisconsin law professor Ann Althouse spoke with one of these doctors who was completely unapologetic for his actions, saying that it was “not dishonest” but rather “an ok thing to do” because it was in the interest of “social activism.”

You see, they will not be "death panels" as they will be "we're not going to do anything that will help you to live" panels.

But what will happen und... (Below threshold)

But what will happen under a new generation of doctors who have been taught that the individual patient's welfare must be balanced with "social" considerations -- such as the cost to the government or to "society"?

I had a different reaction to this. It reminded me of Massachusetts' demand that doctors ask non-medical questions of their patients -- such as asking children about how many guns their parents owned. Will we see doctors violating doctor-patient confidentiality in order to report, say, gun owners who are getting counseling for some reason?

Dr. Mengele and his colleag... (Below threshold)

Dr. Mengele and his colleagues believed they were working for the "greater social good" too.

These are the doctors who w... (Below threshold)
jim m:

These are the doctors who will deny treatment to others based on their religion or political bent. I fail to see the difference between their rationalizations and those of Harold Shipman.

Listening to the Democratic... (Below threshold)

Listening to the Democratic party members is beginning to be a laugh riot.

It appears the only time that the words "negotiate" or "compromise" pass their lips is when they're on the losing end of the stick.

What ever happened to "elections have consequences", or as Barry like to put it, "I won".

I do think that Walker should compromise on one thing. Have the state continue to collect union dues - and charge a 10% off the top "fee" for services rendered.

I am quite enjoying this wh... (Below threshold)
Pile of Pooh:

I am quite enjoying this whole debacle in Wisconsin. It's showing the people of the world the true face of the Democrats -- and why I and others refer to them as the Democrat party, rather than the Democratic party. Because democracy and rule of the majority is the last thing they'll ever believe in.

Modern Democrats are nothing more than self-serving elitists and ignorant entitlement mongers. Harry Truman would be appalled.

This is how Barry creates j... (Below threshold)

This is how Barry creates jobs. As in ACORN. Community agitation, fake excuses, OUTRIGHT LYING and polarization. What are we in now? About chapter 7 in his bible RFR.

"and charge a 10% off the t... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

"and charge a 10% off the top "fee" for services rendered" GarandFan

I don't often disagree with your opinions but in this case your aim is low. They should be charged at the normal "absorption rate" for the Wisconsin government's handling of taxpayer dollars. No reason for the unions getting off light here.

This attitude from an enlig... (Below threshold)

This attitude from an enlightened educated group. The AMA should be ashames of themselves. The teachers who use these fake notes are the worse examples of all. They cannot preach to kids about ethics now. ww

Will anything happen, to an... (Below threshold)

Will anything happen, to any of the doctors that are handing out fake sick notes, if one of the supposed stressed-out teachers has a genuine breakdown or worse?

and, forgot to mention, tea... (Below threshold)

and, forgot to mention, teachers so stressed out that they require sick notes and or medication from street vendors, is truly frightening for the sake of the children, that spend hours per day with them.

As a retired ER doctor (30 ... (Below threshold)
Dr Ed Herold:

As a retired ER doctor (30 yrs in busy ER's) , i must comment on the patient with the headache. Unless there is some type of health care rationing, we will no longer have quality health care. But the rationing has to be done by the patient himself, because he has some "skin in the game".
after the exam, I could explain to the patient that,in my opinion, a CT scan (an MRI would not be appropriate here) is not needed, but could be done if he insists, the cost being taken out of his medical savings account. if he opted out,
a waiver would be signed, and he would keep the money for possible use later.
ER charges are increased when a CT scan is done, the rationale being that it is now a more complicated case.
Exam with CT used to be about $2000, in my ER.
Exam without CT or other tests, about $300.

WE can no longer afford this type of medical practice

Most of the 'medical testin... (Below threshold)

Most of the 'medical testing' done today is not for the patient - it's to protect the doctor from lawsuits.

But then the Democrats who passed ObamaCare were more interested in continuing campaign donations from the trail lawyers association.

I'm with Rodney. The AMA n... (Below threshold)

I'm with Rodney. The AMA needs to be involved. Real doctors passing out fake sick notes need to be disciplined, up to and including losing their licenses.

I called the hospital these... (Below threshold)
bob march:

I called the hospital these goofs work for and they have a special phone voice mail set up already ... they say that they are "investigating" ... right; if they are still employed by that hospital the hospital should be closed down.

Gee I can't wait until the ... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Gee I can't wait until the KIDS start using this trick to avoid school for a test.

An earnest question:<... (Below threshold)

An earnest question:

Was it "dishonest" when -- as my father in law did -- many Chicago doctors wrote "sick-notes" for hundreds and hundreds of blue collar Chicagoland black folks -- to go hear Dr. King speak at Soldier Field -- without the latter losing their jobs (for participating in "subversive activities") in Chicago, in the 1960s?

In what way is this similar/different?

I am asking a serious question, folks -- is anyone up to the challenge?







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