ER doctor says US does not want medical ‘free-market’

Farzon A. Nahvi, an emergency medicine physician and an instructor of emergency medicine in New York City, said Republican lawmakers are being dishonest with Americans in the debate over heath insurance.

“Republicans need to be honest with themselves and the public: If they want medicine to be truly free-market, then they have to be willing to let the next man or woman they find lying unconscious in the street remain there and die,” said Nahvi.

“If you have a simple infection you might not be thinking straight,” said Nahvi. “A person with a heart condition or brain injury could be unconscious.”

Nahvi said he is not against the free market: “I think it’s a great tool for the economy but it cannot be applied here. It just doesn’t work” when it comes to health care.

Republicans and Democrats overlook the fact “that in a totally free market health care system, you must be willing to let some patients die.”

As an emergency medicine physician, Nahvi said he has encountered patients who were upset at the costs their hospitalization.

Nahvi described one patient who told him that he did have life insurance but not have health insurance.

“He said he would rather have died and his family gotten that money than have lived and burdened them with the several-hundred-thousand-dollar bill, and likely bankruptcy, he was now stuck with,” said Nahvi.

Americans, according to Nahvi, “don’t truly believe in free-market medicine. We know that in an empathetic and caring society, life is valued above all else.”

An op-ed by Nahvi was published in the New York Times, and the doctor appeared on “Richard French Live,” the Emmy Award-winning nightly public affairs program on Regional News Network WRNN-TV.


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