Should we be in the business of medicine?

There is no such thing as a free-market for medicine.

On principle, I do believe in open capitalism and competition for the best ideas, the payoff being financial reward.  However, there is no such thing as a free market in the medical industry.  The power of the transaction is unfairly on the side of the provider and this has lead to an abusive system.

If you’re very ill, how much are you willing to pay for help?

Most of us are more qualified to question the honesty of an automobile mechanic than a medical doctor, but if a mechanic replaces your transmission when it could have been fixed, then you’re only out some money.  If a doctor convinces you to undergo an unnecessary procedure and something goes wrong, then it costs you more than just money.

And then there are pharmaceutical companies.

In a perfect world, a drug company would identify a need and make a drug to satisfy that need.  This does happen, a lot.  But, drug companies also produce drugs and then “find” a need for them.  It’s also in the best interest for a drug company if there are more diagnoses for the disorders their drugs address.  There is a sort of symbiosis between doctors and drug companies.

The money is the problem.

Yes, I know.  A doctor has to spend a lot of money on his or her education and a drug company has to spend a lot of money to develop a drug.

Let me ask you this: Were as many people clinically depressed before all these “safer” antidepressant medications started coming out?  More recently, the number of bipolar diagnoses has gone through the roof.  And what about all these kids on medication for ADD?

What’s the solution?  I don’t know.

Imagine if your house was burning down and you had to make a financial arrangement with the fire department before they would come out…  Imagine if the fire department could make you believe you see smoke.


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