Originally published February 7 2012
Dr. Benjamin Rush warned about loss of medical freedom over 200 years ago
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) For those of you worried about maintaining your medical freedom in the age of rising authoritarianism, it may comfort you to know that at least one of our country's founding fathers shared your concerns.
"Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship to restrict the art of healing to one class of Men and deny equal privileges to others; the Constitution of the Republic should make a Special privilege for medical freedoms as well as religious freedom."
Those are the words of Dr. Benjamin Rush, noted physician, medical professor and an early surgeon general to all Continental armies. A signer of the Declaration of Independence, Rush represented Pennsylvania at the Continental Congress, but not before establishing himself as a popular physician and professor in Philadelphia. A noted humanitarian, Rush was also an important writer, having authored the first American textbook on Chemistry and ultimately contributing several essays to newspapers applauding the Patriot cause.
But his passion was medicine, and in particular - as the above quote attests - the right of a free society to choose their own healthcare path. So much was he against what he viewed as government ineptitude that he ultimately resigned his post as surgeon general because of the way medical care was being mismanaged among the troops.
Fast forward 230-plus years to America today, and there exists a healthcare system and infrastructure that surely would have driven Rush mad. Given the federal government's "rush" to manage the health care of all Americans via "Obamacare" and any number of other Washington-mandated schemes, the good doctor's centuries-old observation has proven to be quite prophetic.
Yet it is also proving inspirational. His dire warning serves as the impetus for a new movement aimed not so much at repealing any current laws which already force compliance with strict new healthcare requirements, but rather a single, simple measure aimed at restoring your right to decide for yourself what sort of medical care you want.
According to information posted at the Web site Rush2013.com, a movement dubbed the "Dr. Benjamin Rush Project" boasts that "freedom of choice in health care is your natural right," and urges support for state constitutional amendments that would "reclaim freedom of choice in medical care and practice."
The movement is the brainchild of John J. (Jack) Phillips, a retired Army officer and Harvard graduate who founded his own chemical engineering company and later became involved in several Defense Department- and NASA-related missile and space programs, according to Stephen Miller founder of the Web site who says he is a former Army Special Forces combat engineer that became enamored with Phillips' "Rush Amendment" concept.
According to Miller's site, the concept behind the state-level Rush Amendment is simple: It is a reaffirmation of the Tenth Amendment, essentially. And the amendment itself is simple as well as straightforward:
The People and any lawful inhabitant, resident, or sojourner of the state of (Your state) shall have freedom of choice and practice of any health or medical care modalities as they deem in their own personal best interest and judgment.
Language for a national-level amendment is very similar.
It aims to reestablish your right to choose your own medical practice and practitioner; it establishes the freedom for physicians to practice alternative medicine techniques, for regular citizens to practice their own forms of medical care, and freedom to purchase medications and treatments without a prescription; it also leaves the responsibility for obtaining medical care - or not - to you; and finally, it frees you from the chains imposed by government healthcare mandates.
Whether or not all of those provisions are things on which more Americans agree remains to be seen. But the premise - freedom from leviathan government's mandates over your healthcare and health care choices - is noble, as well as necessary.
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