Surviving Canadian Medicare: Why Patients Must Fight for Freedom Not Funding
Back in 1962, Saskatchewan patients and doctors rose up to defend their individual freedom against socialism’s stealthy constitutional attack. In the end, legislation passed forcing them to surrender their freedom to government control and the doctor/patient relationship became a prisoner to the socialist philosophy. Across Canada, there is a constant barrage of constitutional attacks by political parties of all stripes in the name of universal health care. A government monopoly forces us to fight the politics of Medicare; patients for access to medical services and doctors for their livelihood. Medicine, once revered for its healing heroics, is bleeding out on the battleground. Meanwhile, patient casualties along the front lines continue to mount.
When the federal government passed legislation making it legal for doctors to intentionally kill their patients, I thought for sure there would be a rallying cry and the medical profession would rise up to save its soul. In response, the medical colleges and the Canadian Medical Association retreated from their position against euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide and instead came up with a revised policy for doctors to follow. It’s a fatal wound to the morality of the profession and the sacred trust that is the very lifeblood of the doctor/patient relationship.
Today professional associations, public service unions, and patient groups continue to accept and promote the false premise of socialized medicine - access is based on need and not the ability to pay. From this so-called “health for all” philosophy stems other collectivist notions such as health care is a human right, population health supersedes that of the individual patient, government is responsible for the health and health care of its citizens, and coercion through Medicare can supplant freedom and charity.
The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) is fighting for increased Medicare funding and permanent binding arbitration in future contract negotiations. Are the legal ties of Medicare not binding enough? A group called Coalition of Ontario Doctors, although critical of the bargaining tactics employed by the OMA and the government, fights for the very same goals.
At the other end of the country in British Columbia Dr. Brian Day, like Dr. Jacques Chaoulli before him, is fighting in court for personal and professional liberty. Patients who have suffered needlessly under Medicare are fighting alongside him. Forcing citizens to sacrifice their health, and in many cases their lives, to a public health care system is unconstitutional. It’s also unjust and immoral. We must fight to repeal legislation that infringes on our individual rights and freedoms by allowing government total economic and political control over the doctor/patient relationship.
Health is neither a right nor a privilege; it’s a condition of life. Need is not a right. Health care is not a right. We must fight to repeal legislation that infringes on our individual rights and freedoms under the camouflage of human rights.
Medicare is not free. Patients without access to medical services bear witness to the truth about this oppressive social program. The truth being that medical services are not allocated on the basis of need, but by the government spending our health care dollars. Patients unable to afford to leave the country to access care directly are left abandoned in a field of misery. We must stand up for the freedom to pursue our individual health interests. We must stand up for the freedom to purchase our own medical services within our country. Surviving the life and death battles of this political war means patients must fight for freedom, not funding.