NOTE: This article was first posted on my old site on March 29, 2011.
Here’s the official suicide note of the Philippine Medical Association in support of the Reproductive Health bill, now euphemistically named Responsible Parenthood bill:
POSITION PAPER OF THE PHILIPPINE MEDICAL ASSOCIATION ON THE PROPOSED REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH BILL
THE PHILIPPINE MEDICAL ASSOCIATION supports the REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE BILL However, the rights of physicians to do what is best medically for their patients, the right to informed choice of the people, the freedom of religion, the right of the people to health services and proper health education shall be respected and emphasized at all times and no censure or penalty of whatever kind or nature shall be imposed on the exercise of said rights. The government must set up on a national level emergency obstetrical care and provide facilities for maternity/pediatric cases with access to blood bank. Information on the scope of reproductive health like fertility, contraception, abortion, reproductive tract infections, cancer risks and immunizations must be made available to the people. The Philippine Medical Association does not endorse making contraceptive devices/services available in schools. The government should instead provide for properly educated reproductive health personnel who will give age-appropriate information and counseling. The age of adolescence must be defined. The Philippine Medical Association does not support compulsory family size. The better alternative is for the government to inform the people of the advantages of an adequate family size taking into consideration the income, values and religious affiliation of the people concerned. Being a major stakeholder on health issues and being the mother association of all medical societies in the Philippines, a representative of the Philippine Medical Association must be included in the proposed composition of the POPCOM.
I wasn’t surprised to know the self-sacrificing position of the PMA in regard to this divisive issue considering the fact that they are “in a dedicated selfless and humane service of the Medical Profession for a healthy Philippines and for the Glory of God.” They are selfless health care providers so their aim is to sacrifice their lives and profession to public service and for the glory of God. However, I see glaring, disturbing contradictions in the way they understand the nature and concept of their “rights.” They declare that “the rights of physicians to do what is best medically for their patients, the right to informed choice of the people, the freedom of religion, the right of the people to health services and proper health education shall be respected and emphasized at all times and no censure or penalty of whatever kind or nature shall be imposed on the exercise of said rights.” These doctors from the PMA should understand that NO ONE- not even the government- is disrespecting, violating, negating, or limiting those alleged “rights.” Let me remind the PMA that under the current setup, the following are fully guaranteed:
- Every physician has a right “to do what is best medically” for his patients;
- The people have a right to “informed choice.”
- The state guarantees the freedom of religion, however, once the bill is passed, any Catholic doctor who believes the use of contraceptive method is against his religious beliefs and conscience might go to jail!
- The people are entitled to “health services and proper health education.”
I respect these doctors for their good-intentioned goals and for doing their best to render competent medical services to their patients, however, everything they stated is what the RH bill is NOT. The tragic flaw of their pro-government control arguments is deeply rooted in their lack of understanding of the proper concept of rights. A right is not fundamentally a legal term simply because it is not created and should not be created by a piece of legislation or executive order. A right is not a constitutional creature. It is merely recognized and affirmed by our constitution. But the problem is even our 1987 Constitution has a confused, invalid understanding of the concept of rights. This is the reason why our country is moving towards complete political and economic disaster and collectivism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy provides the most accurate and most objective definition of rights:
Rights are entitlements (not) to perform certain actions or be in certain states, or entitlements that others (not) perform certain actions or be in certain states. Rights dominate most modern understandings of what actions are proper and which institutions are just. Rights structure the forms of our governments, the contents of our laws, and the shape of morality as we perceive it. To accept a set of rights is to approve a distribution of freedom and authority, and so to endorse a certain view of what may, must, and must not be done. (Emphasis mine)
The following are the categories of rights:
A right to life, a right to choose; a right to vote, to work, to strike; a right to one phone call, to dissolve parliament, to operate a forklift, to asylum, to equal treatment before the law, to feel proud of what one has done; a right to exist, to sentence an offender to death, to launch a nuclear first strike, to carry a concealed weapon, to a distinct genetic identity; a right to believe one’s own eyes, to pronounce the couple husband and wife, to be left alone, to go to hell in one’s own way.
A “right” is a moral principle elucidating and warranting a man’s freedom of action in a social context. The categories of rights above show that rights are only limited to man’s rights to his LIFE, LIBERTY, PROPERTY, and his PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. The concept of rights excludes and rejects man’s right of force and compulsion. UP and other student university students’ demand for a free and/or subsidized education is tantamount to a right of compulsion and force, that is, by granting the government the power to redistribute wealth and confiscate the wealth of those who work and produce in order to serve the interest and the needs of those who don’t.We have all the right to work and achieve our goals in life, but we don’t have the right to ask the government to provide us jobs by sacrificing private businesses and companies. Thus, a right to health care or even reproductive health care means the government must employ the use of force to compel other people (e.g. businessmen and health care providers) to provide health care at the point of gun. A right to full employment and equality of employment opportunities for all means that the government must sacrifice or immolate the creators of wealth in the name of the greater good. A right to land reform program means that the government must disregard the property rights of successful individuals. A right, to be proper and valid, must not enforce any form of obligation on others. It must not justify the government’s use of force or compulsion. In other words, health care or reproductive health care is NOT a right! That which you passionately call or claim as “right” means the “right” by, for, and of the socialists or the communists. There’s a big difference between a right and a privilege. A right is one that is incumbent upon an individual since birth. You have the right to exist, but you don’t have the right to command your neighbor to feed you. You have the right to education, but you cannot demand that you be spared from school fees to obtain a degree. You have the right to medical services, but you can’t tell the doctor, who spent a lot of money and years of his/her life studying medicine, to treat you for free. The proper concept of “right” means the right of every individual to choose and to reject self-destruction. Such a right cannot extend to enslave your neighbor. It simply means a right to choose or not to choose. People at the PMA should read and understand the intents and provisions of the bill to know that it seeks to institutionalize and legalize government control of the entire industry, medical profession, and education sector. First, the RH bill seeks to control the entire business industry. Section 18 of the billdetails this horrible scheme. So once the fascist bill is approved, any potential or aspiring employer would be covered by it, which means that he/she would be legally regarded as an indirect government employee. The employers or companies who have the capacity (with more than 200 employees) would be mandated by law to “provide reproductive health services to all employees in their own respective health facilities.” This provision means that those employers and companies with more than 200 employees need to have their own “health facilities”, and this means additional expenses on the part of job-creators. On the other hand, employers with less than 200 employees shall enter into “partnerships with hospitals, health facilities, and/or health professionals in their areas for the delivery of reproductive health services.” Logic tells us that since employers and companies would be legally required to shoulder additional expenses, then they are justified to increase the prices of their products and/or services. Does anyone think of PRICE CONTROL? They should understand that free market competition in the medical sector works. Those who offer quality health care services get more clients, but those who offer quality yet affordable services get even more clients. But if they want to provide free RH care services to those in need, they always have the right and freedom to form a charitable organization whose members are doctors or health-care providers. There are health organizations and doctors willing to provide competent health care services to poor people free of charge. Should our statist politicians succeed in passing the measure, that would signal the end of the country’s free health care and medicine as we know it. Today, doctors still enjoy the freedom they need to properly perform their job and to improve their craft. Nobody tells them how to perform their job, what medicine to prescribe, or whether to advise the use of contraception, ligation, or vasectomy to their patients. Doctors today are free to pursue their work according to their self-interest and rational judgment. But free from whom? From government intervention! However, in the name of the poor, some of our politicians and their mindless civilian supporters would like to put the entire medical industry under state control. No one—not even the state—has the right to tell doctors, “give the people what they want or go to jail.” However, there are some group of mediocre people—the social reproductivists—who believe they have the right to enslave and control doctors simply because the latter’s jobs affect their lives and health. If better life and health is the main concern of the social reproductivists, then they need to understand that any competent and esteemed doctor couldn’t work under state control and regulatory edicts. Like any professional or person who engages in a certain profession or vocation, a doctor has all the right and freedom to make decisions and to follow his own conscience. If he regards the use of contraception as against his religious beliefs, then no one has the right to force him to breach his own conscience. This rational principle is applicable to everybody. No one has the right to fine or jail engineers, journalists, or teachers for refusing to accept a job offer unless there is a preexisting contract. No one has the right to force a Muslim to sell pork. This is the real essence of freedom of choice, which is being distorted by Lagman and his ilk. Freedom does not require the use of force and compulsion. It is indeed very much alarming that only a few enlightened people (me included) fully understand the unintended consequences of the bill on our rights and freedom. Only a very few people have the intellectual ability to grasp the many fascist, statist provisions of the bill. That the bill seeks to violate the following constitutionally guaranteed rights:
- Equal protection under the law
- The rights and freedom of employers
- The rights and freedom of doctors and health care providers
- The rights and freedom of parents to decide on their own
- The rights and freedom of the people to say NO to government intrusion into family homes and people’s private lives.
- The rights and freedom of young students against state-imposed sex education
- The people’s right to free speech and freedom of expression
- Everybody’s right to be left alone
- Everybody’s right against any probable imposition of higher or new taxes
- The right to freedom of choice, which is being perverted and destroyed by Rep. Edcel Lagman and his stupid ilk
Tell your lawmakers to BACK OFF before it’s too late! Related articles:
Most recommended site for PMA and Filipino doctors: