Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism, Thoughts on Economics > Most Physicians Oppose Euthanasia Because It Would Hurt Their Income

Most Physicians Oppose Euthanasia Because It Would Hurt Their Income

For most of human history, physicians were incapable of effectively treating serious diseases. Indeed their efforts frequently resulted in their unfortunate patients dying and suffering at far higher rates than they would have otherwise endured. Physicians only gained the ability to have any worthwhile impact on the course of major illnesses in the 1940s- largely due to technological improvements secondary to ww1 and ww2 which included the development of new drugs (sulfonamides, antibiotics, first anti-cancer drugs, first effective anti-hypertensive drugs, better vaccines etc).

Note that physicians have had almost zero input in developing all of the drugs and technology which now allow them to be somewhat effective in practicing medicine.

Since a significant number of people who get into medical school have always been money and power-hungry, but lesser and timid, CONmen- they took full advantage of the situation to market themselves as mini-gods who required tons of money to exert their magic on their patients. Make no mistake.. few people who enter that profession care about anything beyond enriching themselves and bossing around sick or dying people.

When modern medicine came into being (after ww2) the population of western countries was young and relatively healthy. Consequently most of their diseases were acute or subacute, rather than chronic. Many of the then new drugs and treatments such as antibacterials, antivirals, anti-inflammatory, anti-psychotics etc were quite effective at treating many of these illnesses. For a time things looked good..Then the fertility rates dropped to sub-replacement rates and the population got older.

Today most of the illness treated by physicians are chronic. While we have made advances in treating such diseases, our abilities to treat them are pretty pathetic compared to what we can do for acute/ subacute diseases. However the need for more money and profits are driving physicians, hospitals and pharmaceutical/medical device companies to attempt to treat them with drugs and methods of dubious efficacy.

Therefore we have now reached a point where most medical treatments (by dollar value) is used to obtain small or dubious gains in life expectancy at the cost of considerable suffering for the unfortunate patients.

Most rational people understand that prolonging the life of an ill person to the point that it causes considerable suffering without any hope of recovery is not desirable and doing so is effectively torture. So why are physicians around the world, but especially in anglo-saxon countries, so opposed to euthanasia?

The standard and official explanation is that physicians look out for the best interests of their patients and want to protect them from harm. However medical errors, obvious misdiagnosis, negligence and other forms of medical malpractice are officially the 4th leading cause of death. Therefore the ‘ we are protecting patients’ line seems a bit hollow.

An alternative explanation is that patients with chronic and hard-to-treat diseases are cash cows, and the cost of specialized care and treatments of dubious efficacy are the major source of income for physicians.

Access to easy euthanasia would cause a considerable reduction in the income of many physicians. For most of them the specter of reduced income outweighs any consideration of the patients quality of life or suffering.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. Kaz
    March 23, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Yeah but most people want to live, most people are willing to try that expensive/painful drug/treatment that increases their odds of survival by 5%. Most people are fighters in this sense, it’s what we do. Survive.

    I think the controversy surrounding euthanasia falls around a different issue, rather than simply profits for corps/physicians.

    • Nestorius (A. Hourani)
      March 23, 2012 at 9:30 pm

      They want to live, but instead they suffer, they suffer and then they die. They don’t survive.

    • hoipolloi
      March 24, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      I am in my senior years but still working and I have talked to my seniors. Contrary to your belief many old people do not want to live any longer than they have. I am not suggesting euthanasia as a solution. There could be other alternatives. I have not seriously thought about it. Just stating facts.

  2. March 23, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    funny how the femanazi’s think it is just great to kill babies ala abortion and the social conservatives think wars are oh, so just–but neither of them seem to support euthanasia…

    ironically, you deem yourself a wanna be sociopath who likes to see people writhing in pain and you support euthanasia….

    what is this world coming to…

    • March 25, 2012 at 12:14 am

      Euthanasia is more reasonable than abortion. And wars lead to a lot of maimed people, so the country that allows euthanasia is at a distinctive advantage. Maybe opponents of euthanasia should have their hands cut off and their eyes gouged out.

  3. hoipolloi
    March 24, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    I read somewhere that don’t ask a barber if you need a hair cut.

    “Note that physicians have had almost zero input in developing all of the drugs and technology which now allow them to be somewhat effective in practicing medicine.”

    True that. I should know as I did some high powered cancer research during my time in the U.S.

    Maximum profits for the hospital and the medical professionals is when you keep a 80 to 90 year old on ICU/life support for as little as few months. The physicians have a perfect monopolistic professional guild going in the U.S. to the detriment of American public. Can you handle truth, Mr. reader of blogs? And Mr. and Mrs. America.

    You talk to any physician and they will whine about how they work hard and how they studied for long years and how they are not fully compensated. Alan Alda once gave them a reality check in a Columbia University, NY, commencement address, that a taxi driver who takes you to the airport is no less professional than they are. It is the common man, Mr. and Mrs. John Doe who needs to be educated to the realities. At least on this post what is posted above is all common knowledge, but we are afraid to talk because of the powerful medical- industrial lobby.

    Ciao

  4. March 25, 2012 at 12:12 am

    Cynical but likely to be (somewhat) true.

  1. August 23, 2012 at 4:51 pm

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