Policy Abuse Prevents Drug Peace

Agencies of political authority increasingly control the use, manufacture, distribution, and dispensation of pharmaceuticals and increasingly prohibit the use, manufacture, distribution, and dispensation of alternatives. Medicine no longer serves the patient primarily: medicine serves instead as a stealth venue into control of thoughts and actions, or a back door through which malicious invaders can potentially hack into a person's most intimate sanctuaries - body, mind and spirit. What could be more impractical than erecting a security fence of privacy rights against your trusted physician, and what chance do you have of preserving confidentiality or trust when your physician accounts primarily to governmental agencies rather than patients?

Public health contagion is an anti-social disease and an epidemic raging against medical freedom - individual health depends on individual decisions, and public policy prevents individual decision-making (more or less) on an equal wrongs basis. Government control of medicine leaves us all vulnerable to medication without representation since the vast majority of government officials ceased to represent the interests of ordinary folks a long time ago. Come to think of it, when did anyone elect politicians to concern themselves with private medical or purely personal decisions? Does a medical review board ensure the proper licensing and monitoring of politicians? Does an independent consumer advocacy board ensure the safety of the public against political malpractice? Why not?

Laws meant to heal relatively benign disorders provoke malignant ones. Laws meant to ensure public health endanger individual health. Laws meant to curb individual vices accelerate cultural degradation. Laws intended to protect the individual from himself leave him at high risk of protection he doesn't want or protection that actively harms him. Laws enacted to assure public safety through prohibition of choices gravely threaten individual safety by extending a carte blanche to entrepreneurial mobs, corrupt officials, and street gangs.

A government-administered medical system's primary function will be to ensure the health of ever-growing government to the ever-increasing detriment of individual health. The more involved bureaucrats become with medicine, the less responsive medicine will be to individual health requirements. An observer may notice this unresponsiveness caused by bureaucracy manifesting in many ways. A few examples:

1: Bureaucrats deny responsible adults the right to use freely chosen medicines 2: Bureaucrats thwart parental ability to make medical decisions for dependent children 3: Bureaucrats indirectly force medication on non-consenting adults or children 4: Policy-driven medical procedures keep alive suffering people who wish to die 5: Policy-driven medical inefficiencies may kill or harm people who want to live 6: Bureaucratic administration of medicine increases the likelihood of medical error 7: Bureaucratic restrictions on drugs deny suffering people relief from unknowable pain 8: Bureaucratic regulation may encourage frivolous lawsuits and suppress critical suits 9: Bureaucratic interference frustrates the expressed wishes of patients and caregivers 10: Regulatory burdens result in fewer doctors and nurses but more paper-shufflers

The term for an adverse condition caused by doctors is iatrogenic illness. The English language deserves a term for illness caused and/or seriously exacerbated by bureaucracy: bureaugenic or cratogenic, perhaps?

There's an important distinction between people who recreationally ingest a mind-altering drug occasionally out of desire, and people who regularly take a mind-altering drug as a prescription or habitually. The former seeks an experience outside the bounds of normal awareness, while the latter seeks to function within them. The mind explorer who takes peyote usually does not require a warning not to operate heavy machinery: he takes time off, rents an isolated cabin in the woods, and prepares elaborately for an experience that he has deliberately chosen. The latter proceeds with life as usual: driving to work, taking the baby out for a stroll, conducting delicate surgical operations, making business deals, fixing your breakfast at the local diner, or presiding over a precedent-setting legal case. The former may secure a friend as a 'babysitter,' while the latter is more likely to watch his own babies while his wife goes out with the girls.

Medical freedom, including drug choice as well as individual right of refusal, constitutes a necessary underpinning of a free, responsible, compassionate, and healthy society. The corollary to safety from making our own medical decisions wisely or unwisely is the real and present danger that authorities will wisely or unwisely force decisions on all of us.

Just as central planning disrupts individually and locally appropriate planning, centralized medical planning disrupts lives, deaths, births and daily choices. Instead of coping with actual acute problems on an individual or localized basis, established medical authorities display alarming symptoms of embracing the sort of policies most likely to guarantee maximum disaster in the event of an actual crisis - based on sheer speculation regarding problems that are most apt to result from the very policies they're embracing. Sounds like a deadly embrace and a disastrously mistaken prescription to me.


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