14 February 2011

Medical authoritarianism: opposition starved of funding

copy of a letter to a philosopher

It is really terrible that with the appalling legislation that is constantly being made, which in many cases directly affects one’s own liberty, one can squeeze out so little in the way of criticism, and publish it only on the blog.

Surely some university (yours?) could provide enough to make possible a much greater output of analysis of the principles involved, which one would, if not prevented by lack of support, have been publishing continuously for decades before the whole thing reached so advanced a point.

They are gradually making it impossible for medicines of any kind (including herbal) to be obtained without subjecting oneself to scrutiny by an agent of the collective, even if not a supposedly qualified doctor. So in effect they are making medicines inaccessible to those who will not subject themselves to that kind of scrutiny, whether or not this is because they recognise it as psychologically damaging.

I would suggest that it is the desire to interfere with other people’s autonomy, as well as the more recognised power and profit motives on the part of medical and pharmaceutical professionals, which motivate the development of such restrictions. No one actually cares about the possible harm people may be doing themselves with echinacea, kava kava etc, any more than anyone cares about the much greater harm which may be done to people by heavy-duty chemical or mechanical intervention that is not under the victims’ control. What interventionists do care about is the possibility that the pressure people are under to expose themselves to the latter might be reduced by having access to the former. This kind of infringement of liberty should be regarded as unacceptable, but as usual the academic establishment is on the side of the interventionists.

Alternative views, not currently represented in academia, should be given publicity, but this is unlikely to happen unless we are supported. £500K per annum is a small part of the running costs of most academic institutions, but if we had even that much, it would enable us to be more productive than is possible at present, and with less pressure on our health and well-being.

We could use any funding not only to support ourselves but to employ domestic, bookkeeping, caretaking and secretarial staff, all of which we badly need.