Government Medicine and the Assault on Human Life (MP3 download)
By John David Lewis
This lecture demonstrates why government control of medicine violates the metaphysical nature of man, and why bureaucratic dictates will necessarily destroy the practice of medicine. A patient facing a life-threatening disease depends upon the goal-directed, reality-focused actions of doctors—who pursue life-long careers by defeating the diseases and returning patients to health. Government control of medicine stands between every doctor’s cognitive grasp of reality, by substituting rules for the doctor’s focus on reality. Such rules then undercut every doctor’s ability to evaluate, choose and pursue rational goals. This is an attack on cognitive independence at its most fundamental level.
The issue is deeper than the moral and political violation of individual rights. This lecture shows that life is action, in thought and in deed, and that government coercion in medicine constitutes a vicious attack against every doctor’s nature as a thinking, acting being. Because life is action, the demand for intellectual and physical passivity—through obedience to bureaucratic regulations—is a demand for a state of living death, in which a doctor becomes a passive recipient of these rules. Government control of medicine attacks man’s use of his mind, his judgments about reality, his ethical decisions, and the actions he takes. It is an attack on life itself. We must fight for the freedom of doctors as if our lives depend on it—because they do.
This lecture was recorded at the 2011 Objectivist Summer Conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL.