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Dr. Pfeifer Quotes Philosophy in Wall Street Journal

An opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal featured Doctor Pfeifer on health care reform and cost-cutting, discussing the philosophy of Hippocrates and the imperative to “do no harm.”

“When physicians graduate from medical school we take an oath, the Hippocratic Oath, to do no harm to our patients. It’s a very important philosophy to us and we uphold it and hold it very dear to our hearts. Plato, another philosopher, used to say things like ‘Those with a poor physical constitution should be allowed to die. The weak and the ill-constituted shall perish.’ These government programs that are being proposed I think are very scary in the sense that physicians could be induced to violate the Hippocratic Oath.

“There’s a limit to how much of a financial penalty each individual practitioner is going to be able to bear. . . . If the patient is sitting in the examination room with us and they’re wondering, ‘Is the doctor not ordering a test for me because he’s going to get penalized if he does it?’ This is a major, major problem for patients and physicians alike.”

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