Health Care Freedom in Twenty-First Century America
Jun 30, 2017 07:37PM
by Juliette Jones
The Fourth of July marks the 244th birthday of signing the United States Declaration of Independence. Historically, it’s an occasion when Americans celebrate the high ideals of freedom upon which the United States of America was founded including the “unalienable right” to the pursuit of “life, liberty and happiness.” The moral entitlements which this document proclaims are “gifted to all human beings by their Creator and which governments have been created to protect.”
Over a decade later, in September of 1787, The United States Constitution was signed and later ratified by the states, inclusive of adjustments in the form of ten amendments, collectively known as the Bill of Rights. 56 Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, and 36 signed the Constitution.
Most people can name at least three or four well-known signatories of the Declaration of Independence, but fewer people are familiar with Dr. Benjamin Rush who, during this time, was perhaps the most eminent physician in America.
All of Dr. Rush’s achievements are too numerous to mention here. In addition to his role as a physician, with cutting-edge views on mental illness (he was often identified as the Father of American Psychiatry), Dr. Rush held prominent roles as a civic leader, educator (and advocate for public education), writer, publisher and political activist.
He was also the one-time Surgeon General to the Continental army during the American Revolution, ardent abolitionist (formed with Benjamin Franklin the first anti-slavery society in America) and student of the Enlightenment. He has also been credited with encouraging fellow Founding Father Thomas Paine to publish a tract on American independence, even suggesting the title Common Sense.
“The Constitution of this Republic should make special provision for medical freedom, as well as religious freedom. To restrict the art of healing to one class will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic…Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come that medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship and force people, who wish doctors and treatments of their own choice, to submit only to what the dictating outfit offers. The Constitution of the Republic should make a special provision for medical freedoms, as well as religious freedom.”
––Dr. Benjamin Rush
Dr. Rush’s deepest interest was medicine and, in particular, the right of a free society to determine its own health care path. He was against what he viewed as government ineptitude and foresaw the possibility of the loss of health care freedoms, strongly advocating an amendment to the Constitution to preserve medical freedom. Unfortunately, his advice was not followed.
“Discussions around health care reform need to move from issues
of access and payment to the actual content of health care.”
––Andrew Weil, M.D.
At this moment in history, when the topic of heath care is of such vital concern to society, and our medical model finds itself in a state of imbalance, we might ask the question, “Do the laws that regulate heath care in the United States really support the truth of health care practice and delivery in a free society? If not, how does this imperil our freedom of access to health care choices and effectiveness? Did Benjamin Rush foresee what is now taking place here in the United States?”
In his recently released book Mind Over Meds: Know When Drugs Are Necessary, When Alternatives Are Better––and When to Let Your Body Heal on its Own, Dr. Andrew Weil speaks to the symptoms of health care dysfunction, stressing the overuse of pharmaceuticals, “Too many Americans are taking too many drugs––and its costing us our health, happiness and lives. Prescription drug use in America has increased tenfold in the last 50 years.”
Dr. Weil does not dispute the value of prescription medications which can be “miraculously life saving” and appropriate for use in the case of many illnesses. On the other hand, he presents science that prescription drugs are definitely not always the best or only option, instead examining the evolution of present health care trends.
“If people let the government decide what they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls who live under tyranny.”
The most important modern book I have come across on the topic of health care freedom, titled Politics in Healing: The Suppression and Manipulation of American Medicine, was written by former legislator and investigative reporter Daniel Healy. This work fast-forwards the evolution of American health care, now married to a political and financial infrastructure that champions the words of Benjamin Rush in a prophetic light, and will shock many a reader.
I was personally introduced to this book by an Integrative M.D. who found and eliminated the cause of a protracted, painful cardiac issue––a feat that two of the most prominent medical institutions in Florida failed to diagnose and treat. I was told to go home and “live as best that I could with the pain.” Now retired, Dr. Bruce Dooley helped me to eliminate the problem in six weeks, using intravenous chelation therapy which, at the time, was largely dismissed and criticized by mainstream physicians.
“A serious problem exists in our society; it (Politics in Healing) points out
documented facts that clearly illustrate suppression of medical treatments
if these treatments come from other than conventional sources.”
Politics in Healing chronicles 10 well-researched and documented stories which should be a must-read for any self-realized person who wants to look more deeply into “American medicine, healing, alternative healing modalities and treatments.”
Today, much of Western science seems to have lost the ability to recognize simple truth. The struggle between truth and miscreant facts, generosity and greed, good and evil are universal themes. To the extent that the sacred character of healing and the value of many non-toxic natural remedies are suppressed, so it follows that we continue to lose integrity in our social institutions and the opportunity given by the Creator to pursue life, liberty and wholeness.
One of our greatest freedoms remains to keep ourselves informed about health care choices. Toward that end, a new resource has formed in the Sarasota/Manatee area. The Natural Healthcare Forum––practitioners from multiple disciplines including Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Massage and Integrative Medicine––will address topics important to health care. Their mission is promoting awareness and understanding about natural health remedies and common sense understanding of both the environment and our bodies.
The first community forum will be held on September 7 at the Downtown Selby Public Library, 1331 1st Street, Sarasota. Doors will open at 5:30, and the presentation will take place from 6–7:30 p.m. The topic of discussion will focus on insomnia. No admission cost to attend. For more information and to RSVP, call 941-923-9355 or email [email protected].