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To the Editor:—
The controversy concerning socalled free systems of medical care versus socialized or government-sponsored plans is now several decades old. I do not propose to contribute here directly to this problem, by favoring one side or the other. I should like, rather, to call attention to some internal contradictions in the present state of American medicine. The immediate stimulus for these brief remarks, and my point of departure, is Hayek's book "The Constitution of Liberty" (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1960) and Kemp's recent comments on it in The Journal, Feb. 20, page 825.Kemp used Hayek's book to underscore the dangers of the welfare state, especially in regard to governmentally or politically controlled systems of old age assistance and medical care. He quoted Hayek's warning that the so-called socialization of medicine threatens to transform doctors, "who have been members of a free profession primarily responsible to their
Szasz TS. FREEDOM AND THE PHYSICIAN'S ROLE. JAMA. 1960;173(1):84–85. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020190086023