James Leroy Wilson's blog

Monday, September 03, 2007

Necessary There, Illegal Here

An ABC news report tonight featured two doctors from Baylor and some other American doctors who were in Lesotho providing care. There's just one pediatrician per 133,000 children there, as opposed to one per 940 in America. With AIDS and so many problems there, the Americans say much of their time is spent training local people to provide care.

Which is all to the good. I admire them for going there to take on this challenge.

So, when there is a genuine crisis and a genuine shortage in Africa, it is permissible for doctors to train laypersons, even without the schools, textbooks, degrees, and tuition, on an ad-hoc basis. But are MD's allowed to train people in America outside of accredited medical schools? Can Americans practice medicine without a degree and a license? Wouldn't this make medical care more accessible to more people, and drive down the price?

Apparently, we can't have that in the U.S. because Americans deserve the quality care only a licensed, advance-degreed doctor can provide. If we can't have that, we shouldn't be allowed to have any care at all.

Funny how what is necessary in Africa is illegal in the U.S.

1 comment:

  1. James, my experience exactly. I once travelled to a third world country to help a medical missionary from my own church. I did all kinds of "medical" things while there, many things that required the most minimal of training. I was praised by Americans and foreigners alike, and by medical professionals and lay people alike. Yet if I had done the same here in the US for underpriviledged Americans I would have ended up in prison, and the same Christians who praised me would have held me in contempt for not observing the "law of the land."