Though I’ve observed the trend for a long time several recent examples have emboldened me to challenge the prevailing orthodoxy. Recently I linked to this Kevin post about the Lucidicus Project and suggested that medical students check it out as an alternative to the popular dogma concerning single payer health care. This was met with indignant and morally superior comments from two anonymous readers. One, apparently in academic medicine, implied that conservative thinking equals greed:
This philosophy starts at the top with our president who feels tax cuts for his friends the uber rich are clearly more important than health care for children.The best definition I've heard for compassionate conservatism is I feel your pain,I just don't plan to to a damn thing about it. So be greedy, and selfish, but don't complain when some calls you that.
The other commenter was outraged at the mere suggestion that medical students read material supporting capitalism:
So RW the champion of critical thought & skepticism is championing a site that suggests medical students need to read ayn rand and propaganda material about how capitalism is good for medicine? Give me a break.
Of course I wasn’t championing anything. The commenter was clearly rankled. Does he/she believe that medical students should be banned from reading politically conservative literature?
Not long ago we were told that if we didn’t feel guilt and shame about global warming we need psychiatric help to increase our anxiety.
And there’s this JAMA commentary that tells us what we may and may not say about health care in the U.S.
More recently Retired Doc dropped a bomb with this post about a JAMA piece which appears to redefine medical ethics in terms of a sociopolitical agenda which favors increased government intrusion into our profession and implies that failure to support such an agenda is a betrayal of ethical principles to which physicians are honor bound.
If you want to promote your political agenda I’m willing to be convinced with evidence or logic. Engage me in a collegial discussion, but don’t try to shame me or impugn my character if I happen to disagree.
Background reading: PC, M.D.: How Political Correctness Is Corrupting Medicine. (Hurry, before it’s banned).