Freedom Takes Another Hit

By | August 19, 2021 | 0 Comments

Soon after Covid-19 struck, I got an email from California Medical Board and Pharmacy Board. It warned that physicians and pharmacists might lose their licenses for “inappropriate” prescribing or dispensing of hydroxychloroquine. “Inappropriate” was not defined, but it seemed clear that prescribing for Covid-19 was meant. Restrictions on controlled substances, yes, but telling me for what diseases I could and could not prescribe specific drugs? That was a first in many years of medical practice.

But the push toward totalitarianism didn’t stop. It never does, until either (a) totalitarianism is achieved, or (b) we push back effectively.

Today totalitarianism took two more steps forward.

First, the New England Journal of Medicine published an article proposing that “misinformation” be treated like an epidemic, and stern measures be taken to combat it. By implication, physicians have a duty to fight disease, so if “misinformation” is a disease, and we don’t join the fight, we are bad physicians and should be punished. Medicalizing politics never ends well.

Second, I received another email from the Medical Board. This one warned that writing a patient an exemption letter for masking or other activities (vaccination) without a “legitimate” medical reason would subject physicians to discipline. What is “legitimate” was not defined. Such an imprecise threat must have the effect of making physicians reluctant to issue any exemption letters at all, which may well have been the intention.

Ill-defined regulations and vague threats serve the purpose of making people worried and uncertain, so they will avoid doing anything that MIGHT be seen as improper by some nameless, faceless, remote, unelected, unaccountable bureaucrat. Fear and uncertainty are potent tools for a would-be totalitarian. They have no place whatever in the toolkit of a free nation. I thought we knew that.

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