Do no harm



To the Editor:

Doctors and healers take the solemn Hippocratic Oath: “First, do no harm.” Our health, well-being and lives depend on their moral character to live and act by this sacred pledge.

“Do no harm” was never meant to be interpreted as do nothing if it costs too much or do less if no one will realize you could/should have done more, or even worse, do not worry about those who cannot afford it.

How can we, as fellow citizen and humans, be hoodwinked into believing that any sort of true healing can exist if the healers themselves are ill.

Too many doctors and healers are “ill”-advised, “ill”-equipped and misguided in their view of who is “deserving” of health care. They are forced to work within an ailing system. The system asks even the compassionate to choose to give care only when it can be afforded. But health care is essential for all, not merely for those with means.

The environment in which health care professionals work compromises their best instincts towards healing and has devolved into a paradigm that puts money and returns to insurance and pharmaceutical companies above the well being and health of multitudes of ordinary citizens. We must all name this illness for what it is: it is greed.

This is “wealth care,” not health care.

We as decent, caring, compassionate citizens of this blessed county cannot abide it or allow it.

The health proposal known as “Graham-Cassidy” is a disgrace. It is more disgraceful because its author is a doctor as well as a politician. Sen. Cassidy and all who choose to support this harmful proposal do grave harm to millions of our citizens. This or any future proposal that does not truly serve the needs of all our citizens must be rejected.

How do politicians who siphon precious dollars from essential health care to bestow tax breaks for the hyperwealthy dare call themselves public servants?

I implore “do no harm” health professionals to speak out against this outrageous bill and any others like it that would do great harm to millions of our people. I ask politicians to stand with the constituents who sent them to do the peoples work: to do good, to respond to genuine need.

We, the people, will not accept anything less. When some of our citizens, those most in need, suffer, we all hurt. This is not altruism; it is simple human decency and justice.

Margaret Kilmartin

Southwest Harbor

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