Making Money in Medicine Is Moral
January 15, 2008
Irvine, CA--After the Massachusetts Public Health Council announced new rules that will allow CVS and other retailers to open in-store clinics designed to treat minor ailments, Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino declared that the decision "jeopardizes patient safety. Limited service medical clinics run by merchants in for-profit corporations will seriously compromise quality of care and hygiene. Allowing retailers to make money off of sick people is wrong."
"These clinics will not be ‘making money off of sick people,'" said Dr. Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, "they will be making money by helping sick people become well.
"Mr. Menino wishes us to think there is something morally suspect about retailers requiring payment for providing medical services. Does he expect them to give away medical services for free? By his logic, it is unjust that farmers make money off the hungry, gyms make money off the unfit, and newspapers make money off the uninformed.
"Contrary to Mr. Menino's insinuations, businesses do not profit by exploiting consumers, but by offering them life-enhancing values--whether a loaf of bread, a miracle drug, or a cutting-edge surgical procedure. The farmers, doctors, and businessmen who create and supply those values have a moral right to be compensated for their efforts. The attack on profit in medicine is an attack on profit as such--and on all the goods and services profit makes possible. We should oppose Mr. Menino's attack on profit and welcome expanded freedom in medicine."
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