St. Stupid's Day Parade 2009

St. Stupid's Day Parade 2009 by Laughing Squid, on Flickr


US Senator Rand Paul (Tea-GOP, Ky.) told America on Wednesday that if we decide as a nation that everyone has a right to decent health care, and set up community health centers to help further that goal, that would effectively turn doctors into slaves. Via Politico’s Kate Nocera:

“With regard to the idea whether or not you have a right to health care you have to realize what that implies. I am a physician. You have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. You are going to enslave not only me but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants, the nurses. … You are basically saying you believe in slavery,” said Paul (R-Ky.), who is an ophthalmologist.

I had never realized this similarity between being a doctor and being a slave. So I listed all the features I could think off, and sure enough, they look about the same:

A. What most people associate with being a slave:

1. Get forcefully taken from your home and family, while watching members of your family be killed or raped.
2. Be bound and shackled, kept in cells and holding pens.
3. Sold to slave traders who transport you to slave markets, shackled, possibly killed or maimed during shipment
4. Deprived of most medical attention, malnourished, beaten with no reccourse
5. Sold to slave owners, still shackled, taken to owner’s destination
6. Forced to perform manual labor every day, sun up to sun down, as ordered by slave owner; subject to sexual assualt
7. Receive minimal medical treatment; have no rights, no comforts, no government or laws accountable to you
8. Treated as property. Can be traded, sold, disposed of at will of owner; marriage not recognized; children not yours but belong to owner to dispose of at will.
9. Continuously subject to being physically beaten, injured, killed by owner with no recourse

B. What most people associate with being a doctor:

1. You choose to study the profession, get degrees, become qualified.
2. You choose to work or not in that profession
3. You accept patients for whom you provide care
4. You receive compensation that puts you in upper class; gain high community respect.
5. You decide whether to run for US Senator

Who knew there was so much slavery in other developed countries? I learn something every day.



John has been writing for Firedoglake since 2006 or so, on whatever interests him. He has a law degree, worked as legal counsel and energy policy adviser for a state energy agency for 20 years and then as a consultant on electricity systems and markets. He's now retired, living in Massachusetts.

You can follow John on twitter: @JohnChandley