The crisis in health care, which could bankrupt this country, is due to the complete corporate takeover and commercial transformation of medicine since the 1965 Medicare Act. Government failed to anticipate the power of  private enterprise to transform this public “pot of gold” to its own profitable ends.

When I began my residency in 1973, I was shocked that financial planners were allowed to solicit business by lecturing us on how to make practice profitable, and retire early on a hefty annuity.

We were first instructed to incorporate, which radically transformed medicine from an altruistic, patient and socially oriented profession into a corporate, selfish one, in which profits and other vested interests eclipsed traditional professional concerns, as expressed in the old Hippocratic Oath.

The very spiritual foundations of medicine were corrupted into secular, monetary ones. Corporate enterprises and litigation mushroomed. Far too many procedures, medications and medical “care” of all kinds were prescribed as medicine became a commodity and “profitable.” Moral limits were violated, costs exploded, and Wall Street and Madison Avenue conditioned the public to medical dependency and the economically limitless view that we are ill (not healthy) until proved otherwise.

Utterly lost was the essence of medicine — the doctor-patient relationship — in mutual trust, love and the quest for restoration of wholeness to both.

The solution to the crisis is the restoration of the soul to medicine, and the de-corporatization and de-commercialization of the entire profession.

Paul Corrao, Lewiston

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