Under U.S. government, watch leeches return to modern medicine

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I see where President Obama is hooked on ensuring medical care for all. The government programs are in a mess now, and we should start by better defining medical care.

There was a time when bleeding was recommended by doctors. Leeches would have then been included in most any description of medical care, and would have been paid for by the government. The leeches would suck the blood until engorged, and then drop off, or they would drop off when the blood stopped circulating. They were automatic.

But how do you find the leeches in modern-day medicine? They did not set out to be leeches. For a patient to be treated and have a chance to live, we need doctors; nurses; supplies; and a clean hospital with decent food, a laboratory and other technicians. Then there are pharmacists and communications, as well as someone to run our hospitals. But how many of the latter do we need? We know we need an administrator, but how many assistants? The bureaucracy will include thousands of government workers, as well as someone to answer their questions -- none of whom will help anyone get well.

All of the leeches can claim that they are helping others to get well, but do they? If some decision is not made, the program could exceed all costs that are planned. Medicaid and Medicare far exceed their original plans. But all of these people will be added to the cost of medicine. Scary, isn't it?

Then we might add the many people working for drug companies. They must be identified because the leeches will never get engorged and fall off. They will stop only when the patients are dead, or medical care is so limited that they cannot get to people who formerly would have been patients.

Finally, there are not enough doctors in this country to give everyone a physical examination in a timely fashion. But if it is free, the public will demand immediate care. With this system I believe the number of qualified people going into medicine will drop sharply.

People do not go into medicine to work for the government, but to work for the ill. If they wanted to work for the government, they would get 9-to-5 jobs with retirement pensions.

Ernest F. Daniel

Augusta

(The writer is a retired physician and a diplomate of the American Board of Neurosurgery.)

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GACopperhead
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GACopperhead 05/24/09 - 04:47 am
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Dr. Daniel, as you sit in

Dr. Daniel, as you sit in your expensive house and drive your expensive car, ponder this. How many times did you treat a patient for free? Have you witnessed someone dying of cancer without even the money to pay for pain relief? How many potential patients did you turn away because they couldn't pay? I will be the first to recognize the amount of money it costs to become a physician, but the FACT is that today, the Hippocratic oath is just empty words mouthed by a bunch of people who are looking forward to being wealthy. EVERY person in the United States deserves at least BASIC medical care, and end of life care. It is a fact that, already unpaid medical bills raise the cost for those with insurances or money to pay for care. I believe every graduating medical student should be required to give one year of work to facilities that provide indigent care. Those who violate the Hippocratic oath should never paractice again. By the way, abortion is a primary violation of that oath, in DO NO HARM!

willistontownsc
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willistontownsc 05/24/09 - 04:54 am
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Abortion does NOT violate

Abortion does NOT violate anything, GeorgiaCopperhead. As for the LTE writer, I've never heard of a leech being used to treat people.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 05/24/09 - 05:08 am
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Dr. Daniel, the concepts you

Dr. Daniel, the concepts you espouse are WAY over the head of the government educated. "Fix the sick man for free and take what the imperial national government gives you" is pretty much the only thought of the sheeple when it comes to health care. Thanks for the insightful LTE, but you're preaching to the ever shrinking choir.

southernguy08
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southernguy08 05/24/09 - 05:43 am
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GACOP, you know for sure this
Unpublished

GACOP, you know for sure this man sits in an expensive home and drives an expensive car? And I'll bet this man has seen far more people dying than you have. If Obama and this idiot congress get government run healthcare rammed through, you'll be seeing healthcare rationing, and you'll see far more people dying due to lack of treatment, or no treatment at all. Don't believe me? Ask the 50,000 Canadians who cross our border every year for treatment in the US because the care there is so lacking. I've lived in many countries with GRH, and most people there have miserable experiences when it comes to getting themselves or their loved ones healthcare. I agree with you totally regarding ABORTION, and see WILLISTON is making the usual idiot rant supporting it. The face that she/he has never heard of leeches being used in medical treatment proves how ill informed Williston is. Keep up the posts WILLISTON, you make yourself look more and more like an idiot.

Eyore
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Eyore 05/24/09 - 05:53 am
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DO NO HARM,

DO NO HARM, willistontown......Killing a child certainly violates THAT part of the oath. How about the President voting to make it illegal for a doctor to attempt to save a child that is born alive from a botched abortion? How does THAT not violate the oath? Good luck explaining that. And if it is possible for a baby to be born alive from a botched abortion, then you certainly killing it.

Eyore
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Eyore 05/24/09 - 06:34 am
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Willistontown never heard of

Willistontown never heard of a leech being used to treat people. That's because it happened more than 10 years ago and isn't mentioned in Vanity Fair or MTV.

UncleBill
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UncleBill 05/24/09 - 07:23 am
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I am not sure who is

I am not sure who is advocating fix the sick man for free. However, there are many thousands now receiving MEDICAID which is essentially free to them, who receive better medical care than those who pay for their own insurance. And then there are the working-un-insured, who have jobs but no medical insurance who go without or pay out of pocket. This last group is really the one that needs to be addressed. I don't think anyone has advocated providing FREE insurance, but rather to make AVAILABLE insurance for those who currently lack it. By the way the roles of those on MEDICARE and MEDICAID for disability could use a review to weed out those there fradulently but with care to avoid hurting those who are truely disabled.

UncleBill
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UncleBill 05/24/09 - 07:27 am
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By the way, Dr. Daniel may

By the way, Dr. Daniel may have personally provided care to many people without being paid. As a neurosurgeon he does not provide primary care, so the patients would not have had a primary care provider to go to for their regular health needs, and early diagnosis of problems. Dr. Daniel would have likely seen many people for free after they became ill, showed up in the emergency room with a crises needing a neurosurgeon, then called by the ER doctors to come fix them.

christian134
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christian134 05/24/09 - 07:46 am
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To assume something without

To assume something without personal knowledge is to advocate ignorance as well as slander willistown....Do you know this man personally? Dr. Daniel well stated as well...

overburdened_taxpayer
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overburdened_taxpayer 05/24/09 - 07:53 am
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Willistontownsc - "For

Willistontownsc - "For thousands of years, leeches have been worming their way in and out of medicine as a questionable cure for anything from headaches to gangrene, reaching their height of medicinal use in the mid-1800s. Today, the slimy aquatic creatures are making a comeback as a legitimate treatment that can help heal skin grafts and restore blood circulation. Their primary function is to drain blood. Pooled blood around a wound can threaten tissue survival."
http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2004/504_leech.html

GACopperhead
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GACopperhead 05/24/09 - 07:58 am
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I agree, he MAY have treated

I agree, he MAY have treated people for free. My point is that way too many people go into medicine for money, which is the reason that there is an abundance of plastic surgeons and anesthesiologists, while OB/GYN and family medicine has dwindled. Medicine became an occupation to get rich at, and forgot it's true purpose, to heal the sick and provide comfort to the dying. I found, in my petty little life, that if you do a job you hate, you are miserable, no matter how much you earn doing it, but, if you love what you're doing, money doesn't matter. I have known MANY physicians who loved what they were doing and income was of no consequence. It has become a fact that, thanks to credit, prices have increased faster than income, and that has helped to make health care too expensive for the common man to pay for. Also for us who have none, ANYTHING is better. Physicians should not work for free, but shouldn't everyone be able to afford them?

TechLover
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TechLover 05/24/09 - 07:59 am
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willis and eyore:Leeches are

willis and eyore:Leeches are still being used to treat people today. After surgery, especially for reattachment of a finger,etc, leeches are used to reduce swelling since the venous system is compromised. They also release a natural anticoagulant.

HotFoot
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HotFoot 05/24/09 - 08:02 am
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Obama has taken single payer

Obama has taken single payer off the table and is focusing on reform of the current health care mess. Only an idiot (or someone who is both very fortunate financially and oblivious to the suffering of his fellow citizens) believes the current system is working. PT, thanks for your usual smug, dismissive slam of "the government educated". You're so predictable.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
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overburdened_taxpayer 05/24/09 - 08:10 am
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If you want everyone to be

If you want everyone to be able to afford healthcare then start by limiting malpractice lawsuits. And when I say limiting them I mean making the lawyers and courts be realistic when applying them. Mistakes happen, no matter what your profession. Deleberate indifference is another matter and is the area where it should be applied most liberally. It is unbelievable how much Doctors and hospitals have to pay for malpractice insurance that MOST will never need and is a major reason why you see dwindling numbers of OB/GYN doctors.

HotFoot
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HotFoot 05/24/09 - 08:14 am
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Tort reform is part of

Tort reform is part of Obama's plan, overburdened. He is a pragmatist, not an idealist (and certainly not a socialist).

Eyore
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Eyore 05/24/09 - 09:07 am
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Taking over the banks and

Taking over the banks and auto industry, insisting that it would be good to "spread the wealth around".............but not a socialist? What is YOUR definition of socialism, HotFoot?

shaglorious
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shaglorious 05/24/09 - 09:21 am
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GACopperhead, How dare you

GACopperhead, How dare you question this doctor's charity? I do not believe that it say anywhere in our constition that we are "entitled" to healthcare. I have worked for many doctors, and all of them did cases for free. Several do missionary work for free at their own expense. If he lives in an expensive house and has an expensive car, it is because he EARNED it and he IS ENTITLED to it. Stop with the wealth envy. It is disgusting.

hurlyburly11
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hurlyburly11 05/24/09 - 09:37 am
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There's that "wealth envy"

There's that "wealth envy" again copperhead....you really have a problem with people who go to college and earn the right to a good life......willi maggots are also used to treat infected sores.

GuyIncognito
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GuyIncognito 05/24/09 - 09:47 am
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I guess we can't

I guess we can't automatically assume someone with a medical degree is smart.

overburdened_taxpayer
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overburdened_taxpayer 05/24/09 - 09:51 am
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When you are talking about

When you are talking about money, GAC always raises his ugly wealth envy head.

hurlyburly11
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hurlyburly11 05/24/09 - 09:53 am
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copperhead...just what is it

copperhead...just what is it that YOU do?....and did you go in it for the money?.......................

Eyore
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Eyore 05/24/09 - 09:54 am
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At least smart enough to get

At least smart enough to get a medical degree.

GACopperhead
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GACopperhead 05/24/09 - 10:13 am
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No, hurlyburly, I'm one of

No, hurlyburly, I'm one of those "oddities" that tries to live the morals and ethics he preaches. The problem with people like you is that you have no heart, no empathy and nothing to live by but greed. You think only of ways to KEEP your money. I am in the service industry, certified in HVAC, pool operation, and am proficient in many disciplines. I have been Chief Engineer of a 4 Star hotel, Head of Building maintenance for one of our wealthier country clubs, Maintenance Coordinator for 460 apartments, 2 commercial properties and 2 hotels(that's all in one job, folks), and have been an HVAC and Appliance repair sub-contractor. I manage and maintain an apartment community now. Do you think I love what I do? You betcha.

GACopperhead
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GACopperhead 05/24/09 - 10:16 am
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By the way folks, no matter

By the way folks, no matter what the wealth dogma of Republicans is, Life isn't about money. I don't envy you your wealth, I pity you for it. Christ says "It's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter heaven "

Eyore
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Eyore 05/24/09 - 10:29 am
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And yet GAC constantly

And yet GAC constantly berates the wealthy and advocates taking their wealth to give to the unproductive.

shaglorious
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shaglorious 05/24/09 - 10:30 am
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GACopperhead, who said life

GACopperhead, who said life is about money? YOU brought money in to this. If someone works hard and makes a good living, according to your beliefs, unless they want to share their money, they are greedy. Your ideas are skewed.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
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overburdened_taxpayer 05/24/09 - 10:31 am
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You don't pity people for

You don't pity people for their wealth. Whenever you talk about people with wealth you put them down without even knowing what they do with it or anything. Evidence: "Dr. Daniel, as you sit in your expensive house and drive your expensive car, ponder this." Posted by GACopperhead on Sun May 24, 2009 5:47 AM - I am not wealthy by anyone's standards but I don't begrudge those who are. I don't have to answer for them, they have to answer for themselves.

GACopperhead
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GACopperhead 05/24/09 - 10:57 am
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shaglorious, every post you

shaglorious, every post you and your ilk make screams money. It's not about sharing their money, it's about DON'T CHARGE a fee that only the wealthy can afford. Make money! PLEASE! But make it in a ethical way. If the medical world doesn't quit acting like a monopoly, it will end up losing a lot of what it has. And overburdened, I've never been rich either, because I believe in fair wages, and unfortunately, my wealthy employers took advantage of it. The worst thing is, I will never quit offering the quality of work I give, as they don't deserve it.

mgroothand
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mgroothand 05/24/09 - 10:57 am
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Up until not that many years

Up until not that many years ago, barbers were also into bloodletting and kept a jar of leeches nearby. The red stripe in the barber's-pole depicted that.

colcamp1
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colcamp1 05/24/09 - 11:01 am
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GA Cooperhead, you are

GA Cooperhead, you are waiting your breath on a bunch of christians in name only. They forgot the part of the Bible that goes " There but for the grace of GOD go I". No one envy them. They do not have a thing in their home or life, that anyone want or need.

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