Posts Tagged ‘Ben Carson’
Ever since the pep rally that was the white coat ceremony in the backyard of the White House, I’ve been waiting to see what the doctors who I hold in highest regard have to say on the issue of health reform.
Then this came to my attention. It is the strong, yet characteristically kind, words of Dr. Ben Carson. And, he appears to be more in the mainstream of physicians than not:
[W]ith credibility and acclaim the world over for the pioneering surgeries he has and his personal story of overcoming hardship, recently ripped the dominant health care legislation before Congress in a critique similar to that of conservatives and libertarians. Benjamin Carson, director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, Md., and recipient of numerous awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, criticized in a recent interview the approach of the current bills for their mandate, creation of a “public option,” and lack of malpractice liability reform.
“My biggest problem is I feel it’s going in the wrong direction,” Carson told reporters at TV station WLOS in Asheville, N.C. (Video here.)“It’s giving us more government and less autonomy. And I think we should be going in exactly the opposite direction. We should be having more autonomy and less government. And that is the kind of thing that brings the prices down.”
Considered one of the best neurosurgeons in the world, Carson gained acclaim in the ’80s and ‘90s for his pioneering operations separating conjoined twins joined at the head and other procedures that have saved children from epilepsy and brain cancer. But Carson is also celebrated for his personal story of overcoming poverty and prejudice. An African-American, Carson grew up in a single-parent home Detroit ghetto, but his mother pushed him and his brother to achieve excellence. He is the author of the popular autobiography “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story,” which was made into a TV movie this year with Cuba Gooding Jr. portraying Carson. And he does much philanthropic work through charities such as his “Carson Scholars” fund.
I included that last paragraph because I wanted to give kudos to Cuba Gooding’s potrayal of Dr. Carson – you really ought to watch it sometime. Dr. Carson’s story is among the most inspiring in our nation’s history.
But I digress, or do I? You see, what Dr. Carson is reacting to is the force medical paternalism that squelches the freedom to succeed, to exceed, and to advance medical breakthroughs and life-saving, life-affirming techniques for which he is renown. Imagine the conjoined twins he separated receiving the “gifted hands” of Dr. Ben Carson under health reform. Weighing the costs and benefits, wouldn’t it be more likely that these unique creations would have had their resources allocated elsewhere?