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News Opinion Readers Respond

Government and medicine: Not always what the doctor orders

Max Romano and fellow medical students at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine ended their recent op-ed with this sentence, "We look forward to practicing medicine in a country where all individuals have the right to complete health care — including contraception without deductibles and co-pays."

Perhaps Mr. Romano and his fellow students will have their wish granted. However, if they do, they likely will find unintended consequences. A government that can command what they wish may also dictate what their medical specialty will be, what procedures that they might perform, what medicines they might prescribe and who gets treated and does not. Such a government may also set their salaries, decide who gets to practice in certain geographical areas and who gets to attend medical schools.

This government may also decide what is taught in medical schools.

If their dream comes true \, they may find out the threat that the Catholic hierarchy has only recently realized — that if one takes Caesar's money, one must live by Caesar's edicts or suffer the consequences. There are recent examples in the Western world. Maybe history should be in the medical school curriculum.

F. Patrick Hughes, Baltimore

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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