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ZetaTalk: Hippocratic Oath
Note: written by Jul 15, 1995

The medical needs of your country have been increasing, but this has been in response to the medical advances made. As you learn how to keep the human body alive, when born younger as in prematurity or aging far past the point of no return, the philosophy of the medical community has been that all life at all costs must be saved. Of course, the cost is to be born by someone else, and they are at least indirectly the recipient, so the philosophy is not without self interest. The philosophy, Hippocratic Oath, is such that this will not change overnight. Legalizing suicide and making common sense determinations on when to pull the plug on a comatose geriatric case and when to go to heroic efforts to save a tiny premature baby who will in all likelihood be brain damaged will not be forthcoming anytime soon. The conflict will continue.

The medical community will be caught, in our opinion, between opposing forces over the next decade. On the one hand the trend we just described will continue, as medical advances are going to keep coming. On the other hand are the tight budgets experienced on many levels. The tax payer finds himself increasingly out of a job and finding employment only on the basis that he provide himself with benefits, which usually equates to no medical benefits. The federal and state governments toss the issue of who is responsible back and forth, all the while letting the big boys who run the corporations off the hook. Socialized medicine will eventually arrive in the US, and common sense will eventually prevail not as a changed philosophy but as procedures where delays are such that patients held from death by a thread will die before treatment arrives.

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