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The science and art of preventing, diagnosing and treating disease

Medicine is the science and practice of the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease. Medicine encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness. Contemporary medicine applies biomedical sciences, biomedical research, genetics and medical technology to diagnose, treat and prevent injury and disease, typically through pharmaceuticals or surgery, but also through therapies as diverse as psychotherapy, external splints and traction, medical devices, biologics and ionizing radiation, amongst others.


Another Meaning To September 11th, by Butler Shaffer, 19 Sep 2001
Reflects on the attacks of 11 Sep 2001, arguing against top-down poltical systems and in favor of "decentralized, spontaneous systems" such as the marketplace and emphasizing the need for individual responsiblity
Our medical practices offer a fitting analogy. We have spent billions of dollars on research to create the most sophisticated chemical weaponry to fight and destroy the viruses and bacteria that threaten our bodies, and yet these microbial forces have been resilient enough to mutate into new forms that intensify the need for even more powerful drugs and vaccines. So weakened have our individual immune systems become, in the process, that many fear an onslaught from these unseen but empowered forces. ... the HIV virus ... manages to insinuate itself into our bodies and avoid detection by our immune systems ...
Bad Medicine, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, Nov 2003
Discusses the potential effects of passing the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act, signed into law in Dec 2003
When it's clear that no one is satisfied with this effort to provide drug coverage, the advocates of socialized medicine will demonize the pharmaceutical and insurance companies and declare that it's time to turn everything over to benevolent government. That will be the final knell for medical freedom in the United States. (Where will the Canadians go to escape their socialized system?) While all this bogus reform is going on, the legitimate ways to bring down the cost of medicine go neglected ... There's been no free market in medicine for many years.
Drug War Dementia, by James Bovard, Freedom Daily, Nov 1996
Details various police, military and school actions and legislation in the government's war on users of certain banned substances, and the generally unrecognized side effects of these policies
Federal drug crackdowns have many unrecognized casualties, including millions ... undergoing surgery who are denied adequate pain relief ... Up to 70 percent of terminal cancer patients do not get enough pain-relief medication. According to Dr. Richard Blonsky, president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, "For a person experiencing pain, narcotics are the best pain killers we know. A lot of doctors fear that if they write too many prescriptions, Big Brother will get after them." Dr. Russell Portnoy ... declared in 1987: "The undertreatment of pain in hospitals is absolutely medieval."
Free Cory Maye, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, May 2006
Further discussion and commentary on the case of Cory Maye (see Richman's article "More Drug-War Victims", Dec 2005) [Update: Maye's sentence was overturned in Sept. 2006 and he was finally released in July 2011]
The moment the state intruded into drug use, it intruded into the practice of medicine ... From time immemorial people have used drugs including alcohol to ease physical and psychic pain. Just as drug prohibition interferes with self-medication, it must interfere with the doctor-patient relationship. For example, the state stands ready to second-guess any doctor's decisions in prescribing pain relievers. Doctors have lost their practices and gone to jail because government agents disagreed with their medical judgments. The result is that people in pain have been left to suffer ...
Government Medical "Insurance", by Murray N. Rothbard, Making Economic Sense, 1995
Excerpt from Chapter 20. Written around the time of Hillarycare (Clinton's 1993 plan) but even more applicable now to Obamacare
Government intervention into medicine began much earlier, with a watershed in 1910 when the much-celebrated Flexner Report changed the face of American medicine. Abraham Flexner ... was commissioned by the Carnegie Foundation to write a study of American medical education. ... Flexner's report was virtually written in advance by high officials of the American Medical Association, and its advice was quickly taken by every state in the Union. The result: every medical school and hospital was subjected to licensing by the state, which would turn the power to appoint licensing boards over to the state AMA.
Related Topics: Health Care, Prices
The Invisible Hand Is a Gentle Hand, by Sharon Harris, 14 Sep 1998
Originally published at; defends the free market and individual liberty, quoting among others Bastiat, Thomas Jefferson, David and Milton Friedman, John Lott, Isabel Paterson, Proudhon, Adam Smith, Sowell, John Stossel and Walter Williams
Many patients suffering from terrible pain are denied adequate pain relief—even though such relief may be legal, cheap, and readily available ... Dr. Richard Blonsky, president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, said, "For a person experiencing pain, narcotics are the best pain killers we know. A lot of doctors fear that if they write too many prescriptions, Big Brother will get them." Studies indicate that up to 70% of terminal cancer patients—patients who are dying and thus no longer in danger of long-term addiction to narcotics—do not get sufficient pain medication.
The Shame of Medicine: The Case of Alan Turing, by Thomas S. Szasz, 24 Apr 2009
Recounts the life story of Alan Turing as an example of the dangers of psychiatry, with closing quotes from the "founding quack" of psychiatry, Benjamin Rush
The identification of psychiatry with medical healing and humane helpfulness is factually false and morally deceptive, concealing an existential trap with untold-of potentialities for injury and death for the entrapped. More successfully than ever, the modern "biological" psychiatrist misrepresents his profession as based on biological science and medical discovery, while more than ever it is based on pseudoscience and therapeutic deception. The persecution of homosexuals is paradigmatic of the history of psychiatry’s monumental blunders and brutalities ...
Socialized Medicine in a Wealthy Country, by Lew Rockwell, Mises Daily, 2 Dec 2006
Discusses the view of socialized medicine held by left-socialists, examining the problems that existed in Soviet-controlled countries as well as current U.S. problems, and urges a "complete separation of health and state"
Originally, our medical sector was nearly 100% free. It would have been inconceivable that the federal government should have ever intervened in this critical area of life. Then came the Progressive Era ... The medical sector came under mercantilist control ... An important part of this medical cartelization was the suppression of homeopathy and other non-allopathic schools of treatment. As an offshoot of this monopoly, we still live under the absurd system whereby doctors must give prescriptions for the drugs ... The pharmacy industry and the doctors cling to this system for life support.

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Medicine" as of 10 Oct 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.