April 14, 2012

American Medical Association As Typical Corporate Cadre

Filed under: Corporatism, Food and Farms, Health Racket Bailout, Neo-feudalism, Scientism/Technocracy — Tags: , — Russell Bangs @ 3:12 am


According to a piece on “ethics” recently published by the American Medical Association, the way the medical research system is set up, only the poor, convicts, etc. “volunteer” for the good of all. This state of affairs, our medical philosophers tearfully implore us, is “not fair or ethical”.

As a result, the risks of developing a health intervention that would benefit the whole population are carried disproportionately by some of society’s most poor and vulnerable. This is a situation few would judge to be fair or ethical. However it is hard to increase volunteer payment without creating financial incentives. “Danger money” is frowned upon as an inducement that inevitably clouds an individual’s appreciation of risk, limiting the likelihood that consent is informed.

For some reason this doesn’t seem to be applied by our esteemed ethicists to dangerous and disgusting “jobs” in general. The same philosopher who wrings her hands over payments for vaccine trial participation or organ donation pretends not to recognize the economic coercion which drives people to become migrant farm workers, coal miners, or Apple factory workers (they need safety nets in the factories for the number of workers driven to attempt suicide by jumping). For some reason (straight out of Law-and-Economics, no doubt) the whole nexus of economic coercion, economic and physical threats, and forced “contracts” which prevails everywhere with corporatism is normative, but only in the relation of the profiteering medical system and the research subjects it needs is there supposed to be an ethical component. Of course this ethic must act as a damper on any monetary payments. It’s funny how things always work out that way. Why aren’t “financial incentives” bad for doctors, hospitals, insurance corporations, Big Drug with its patents, but only for individual 99%ers? We see again the basic fraudulence of all pro-corporate thought.
It’s hard to imagine how one can honestly embark upon the train of thought expressed above at all, and not quickly be forced to condemn corporate capitalism completely.
For example, I agree, the system of medical profiteering and proprietary drugs is not fair or ethical. So the AMA must want to abolish that, no?
Nope – participation in their for-profit research trials should be mandatory, according to the AMA’s Virtual Mentor. The piece has the appropriate tone from the outset, its first sentence quoting rentier extraordinaire and current GMO flack #1 Bill Gates*. That indicates the mindset and priorities of the authors.
Here we see a characteristic gambit of corporate propaganda. The individual from the 99% has some kind of citizen obligation to volunteer for the alleged common good. If he doesn’t meet this alleged civic obligation, the government should force him. But strangely, there’s no corresponding top-down citizenship obligation on the part of the 1%.
No one has ever explained why profiteering should be allowed to exist in the health care system at all. The authors of this AMA piece certainly don’t explain why it should continue to exist amid such an outbreak of civic concern. Surely if we’re at the point where the individual must be compelled to submit his body, we’re far past the point where the corporatist must surrender his profits?
But no, as always, such a “social contract” point of view is a wild goose chase. As always, it’s a scam. As always it’s one standard for the 99%, and a completely different one for the 1%. Just as “violence” always occurs only from the bottom up, never from the top down, so obligations toward “the greater good of society” exist only from the bottom up (but perhaps to be coerced by top-down force), never from the top down. Profit For Me, Self-Sacrifice For You. Egoism For Me, Altruism For You. Capitalism For Me, Anarchism For You.
Just like with the Wall Street bailout, Obama’s health racket mandate, the Permanent War, the Pentagon’s weapons racket welfare program, the police state, just like with massive corporate welfare in every sector, pandemic privatization, the austerity onslaught, terrorism and war, just like everywhere else, so here too the working citizen must sacrifice, not for the common good, but for the good of a handful of gangsters. Indeed, this sacrifice is a slow suicide, as these gangsters do nothing but prey upon us.
The fact is that the 99% is in a zero-sum death struggle with the 1%. To call for any policy whatsoever which involves the continued prerogatives of the 1%, its continued existence, and any further sacrifice from the 99 on behalf of anything but fighting the system and rebuilding our own communities, is to be an enemy of humanity.
In this case, we know that the system’s “health care” is being intentionally priced beyond our reach. It’s to benefit only our oppressors. Obama’s poll tax, and Mengele-style coerced experimentation like that advocated here, are typical forms of how the people are to serve as a resource mine for something which will never benefit anyone but our enemies. We should contribute nothing further to this predatory system. If we can’t afford the “health insurance” this system forces us to get, then let’s reject the system completely. If we have no choice but to look to ourselves for our medicine, let’s start doing so according to our own plan.
Or, if that’s still too extreme a thought, then how about these kinds of reforms? Let’s institute Single Payer. Let’s abolish Big Drug and its IP regime. Let’s purge rent-seeking from our corrupted universities and educational finance, so that becoming a doctor isn’t tantamount to debt indenture. As things are, vaccines are often peddled and even mandated for non-medical, pro-profit reasons. Remove such crime from the system, and we’ll see where we are. Let’s have a real government jobs program, union-friendly legislation, a much higher minimum wage. Then we’ll see if we still have a research volunteer problem.
I don’t actually call for us to fight for such reforms, because I know reforming kleptocracy is impossible. But I wanted to give some examples of how modest, rational structural reforms could achieve the beneficial goal this piece claims to want to achieve, and far more than that, instead of going in for further coercion within the system of organized crime. But the AMA, like all advocates of organized crime, tends only its own garden, considers corporate crime to be natural and normative, and merely wants its own little share of the loot and taste of the domination prerogative. That’s what this proposal is all about. 
As I’ve said before, this should be one of our core slogans and demands upon ourselves and our future:
Total Austerity for the Criminals, Not One Cent More From the People.
This will always put us at the opposite extreme from all system cadres.
*The piece makes much of “informed consent”. So the authors must call for a total moratorium on GMOs, since there was never sufficient safety testing done on any GE product. On the contrary, the unregulated commercialization of GMOs is the human feeding experiment, a massive one, with zero in the way of informed consent protocols. Humanity as a whole comprises the uninformed, uncompensated guinea pigs. Indeed, the US government opposes even GM labeling. So the AMA must be anti-GMO, at least as currently commercialized, no? No.

Genetically Modified Crops and Foods
Retain by modification of (3) to read as follows:
(3) Our AMA believes that as of December 2009, there is no scientific justification for special labeling of genetically modified foods, as a class, and that voluntary labeling is without value unless it is accompanied by focused consumer education.

(I do agree with the part about focused education, which may be an issue with some labeling initiatives. But I mean it in the opposite of the direction meant by these FDA lackeys. They mean that labeled food should have to carry the FDA’s ideological lies about the “safety” of GMOs. I mean that labeling, the initiatives and any labeling that’s actually done, needs to take place within the context of a criticism of industrial and corporate agriculture as such, including the fact that agroecology is superior in every way, now and even more in the post-fossil fuel future.)
We see the basic fraud of this corporate cadre, all its pretensions to caring about the public health, social justice, and basic human decency. I wrote this post to highlight how all professional cadres are completely merged with the basic corporate assault on humanity. Even “doctors” with their vaunted Hippocratic Oath spew the same hypocritical double-standard lies about the economy (the kind of lie that assumes corporate profits, property, and sociopathic seeking of these, as normative, but which considers giving non-rich individuals “financial incentives” is ethically problematic) and about human health itself. Thus, in direct and criminal contravention of their oath, they take up the government’s ideological declaration, not based on any clinical evidence whatsoever, and in defiance of all the evidence that exists, that GMOs are “safe”. They even overthrow their own alleged principle of “informed consent” in order to justify this massive human feeding experiment, and indeed to deny it’s taking place at all. We see what fundamental frauds they are.



  1. What’s even more disturbing is that sometimes it seems we are paying the “medical professionals” to experiment on us. For example, a friend of mine with no sign of breast cancer was basically forced into having a titanium clip inserted in her breast(the excuse was that her mother had breast cancer). Ever since, she has been in tremendous pain from some allergic reaction, but the “professionals” insist it’s not related-that is, those who are willing to talk to her. I have researched this online and found many women complaining of the same problem. Oddly, the doctors are very stubbornly resistant to removing the clips from the victims.

    I do think it will be difficult to implement “mandatory volunteering”. Even our extremely oblivious populace isn’t quite ready for that IMO.

    Does the medical establishment question why there is such reluctance to being experimented upon?
    I give blood willingly and would never dream of taking money for it. It is an easy way I can help people who need it. Obviously there are other folks who feel the same way, because I see them at the donation site.
    I don’t trust these laboratory geniuses not to destroy my health and thus wouldn’t even take a large sum of money for submitting to their mad science.

    Thanks for this revealing post, Russ 🙂

    Comment by DualPersonality — April 14, 2012 @ 11:38 pm

    • .You’re welcome, DP. I’ve heard of the titanium clip issue, and if nothing else the elitist and dictatorial attitude of “professionals” here sounds typical.

      I doubt there’s any chance of something like this becoming a serious policy proposal. It was a “think piece” in the AMA’s “ethics” journal. (That’s a laugh.) But it’s indicative of the authoritarian fantasies of all system cadres. And it’s such a good example of how all notions of “responsibility” are considered to apply only to individuals from the 99%, never to the system, and all coercion based upon such notions is to be imposed by the totally irresponsible system upon these individuals.

      Here again we have the context where the 99% should apply the Work to Rule principle, in every specific case and as our general mindset. We should take responsibility for ourselves and recognize responsibilities to one another, within our friendships, families, and communities. But toward the alien and psychopathic system (and toward all its flunkey cadres), we should think of and deal with it exactly as it deals with us.

      So, for example, prospective test subjects should be exactly as mercenary toward system medicine as drug companies, medical manufacturers, hospitals, and doctors are toward us.

      Contrary to the lies of these “ethicists”, it’s not like the results of any medical testing are intended to benefit anyone but the 1%. All anyone need do is look at the economic evidence.

      Comment by Russ — April 15, 2012 @ 3:39 am

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