Selected Borelli Materials:
a Practicing Psychiatrist
The Death of
Ethics: A Human Construct
Sentinel, Volume 4, Number 4, July/August
[Editor's note: The following is
reproduced here by permission of Nelson
Borelli, MD and Miguel A. Faria, Jr.,
MD, Editor-in-Chief of Medical Sentinel.
For information on subscribing to Medical
Sentinel, visit http://www.haciendapub.com.]
Borelli, N. "Judicial Interference--Justified
Medical Sentinel, Volume 4, Number
4, July/August 1999
many thanks to Mr. Andrew L. Schlafly,
Esq. for the lucid discussion on
the "Judicial Interference With
the Right to Contract." (Medical
Sentinel, March/April 1999). He
(and rightly so) denounces the Judiciary's
support for the government's interference
in private contracting as "judiciary
activism." That "interference" is
just one of the many paternalistic
actions of government which have
been growing in the last few decades.
We in the medical profession have
been up in arms about this outrageous
interference by third parties such
as Medicare in the contractual relationship
between patients and physicians.
My question to Mr. Schlafly, the
Medical Sentinel and the medical
profession is: Whose fault is it?
Who justified paternalism? The answer
is: not the government nor the politicians.
Surely the politicians welcomed
it wholeheartedly and applied with
gusto, but it was the medical profession
which justified and cultivated the
paternalistic ideology. The "mental
Illness" ideology is the cornerstone
of such justification. The basic
tenet of the "mental illness" ideology
is that a person, due to some kind
of neuropathology, may lose her/his
moral sense. For example: Senator
Goldwater's political position was
due to his "mental illness"; John
Hinckley Jr., due to his "mental
illness," did not know that shooting
the president was wrong. Compulsory
compassion and help for the "mentally
ill" and the "mentally ill--to be,"
became the natural consequence of
such ideology. The medical profession
has gone along with the "mental
illness" fiction in spite of the
mountains of ridiculous cases reported
daily and in spite of the abundance
of critical literature; the best
example of which is the voluminous
published work of Thomas S. Szasz,
M.D. The "mental illness" ideology
is not circumscribed to the so-called
mentally ill persons, but it is
a virulent, totalitarian concept
that applies to all citizens. Let's
look at our own house before we
try to re-invent the wheel.
Nelson Borelli, MD
Mr. Schlafly Responds
Dr. Borelli is correct in describing
judicial activism as "just one of
the many paternalistic actions of
government." It is humorous to note,
however, that liberals now consider
the word "paternalistic" to be derogatory.
This term is being replaced by "compassionate."
Liberal nomenclature aside, judicial
activism predates modern medicine.
The Bill of Rights was partly an
effort to curtail the arbitrary
power of judges in Colonial American.
See U.S. Constitution, Amendments
Andrew L. Schlafly, Esq.
Dr. Orient Responds
I agree with Dr. Borelli. But I
think the complicity of the medical
profession extends far beyond the
mental illness concept. Organized
medicine is heavily promoting very
intrusive legislation called a "Patients'
Bill of Rights" that purports to
"guarantee" the "quality of care"
and the competence of physicians.
This all assumes a disinterested
omniscient elite that can pass enlightened
judgment on everything. So both
physicians and patients come under
the umbrella of paternalism. There
is no freedom without responsibility.
Jane M. Orient, MD