Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Obamacratic Oath

Preface: A cynical friend of mine, who sits at the right hand of Atilla, sent me this version of the Hippocratic Oath, which he uses to swear at the Patient Protection and Affordability Act.

“I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the ill-begotten technocratic dictates of those bureaucrats in whose steps I am obligated to walk, and reluctantly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the government, all measures required, falling into those twin traps of under-treatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will forget that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding must outweigh the auditor’s knife or the protocols of CMS.

I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call on my bureaucratic colleagues when the rules and regulations of another are needed for a patient's cost-effective care.

I will not fret about the privacy of my patients, for their problems will be disclosed to all through electronic records so that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given to me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God. I will leave that to Gov.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a government-subsidized human being, whose illness should not affect the person's family and economic stability but society as a whole. My responsibility includes all of these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the government pocketbook.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

Even if I may swear at this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and government care and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

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