Well well, looky here ... "Arizona lawmakers are considering a bill requiring hospitals to report illegal immigrants who show up for treatment. Senate Bill 145 requires hospital admissions officers to check on someone's legal status if they're being admitted for non-emergency care." The AP story goes on to say that hospitals are still required to treat "emergencies" regardless of legal status, and illegals would have to be reported after successful treatment, if the bill becomes law. And doctors' groups are angry that they are being tasked as informants against their patients.
For a number of years I have reassured patients in the ER that "I ain't the cops" when they have been hesitant over giving a urine drug screen, or have come in fairly pickled after an MVA. We were all trained to respect patient confidentiality, and to provide a safe place free of judgment or retribution. And insofar as that goes, libertarian that I am, I still do not want to be an arm of any institutional corrective response. But this new law proposal is giving me pause.
I have for some years written that society has broken its compact with physicians and in so doing has altered their actual role. The utter consumption of medicine by the third-party payer mentality, and the expectation of perfect care to be enforced by lawyer-threats made physicians largely a commodity; once patients were granted health care as a right by their elected officials, that finished the transformation. Through the onerous sanctioning of state, federal, and quasi-governmental institutions, the work of doctors has become largely the property of the state; hence, doctors have become government agents increasingly more akin to the drones at the DMV.
I have always respected the police (we depend on them in the ER) but have never wanted to do their job. And yes, I despise the timidity with which our traitorous leaders refuse to close our southern border to illegals, and the bleeding heart do-gooderism of liberals and "moderates" who give them cover. I have always been against the unconstitutional EMTALA laws, and am doubly against guaranteed care for illegals. But maybe for the sake of consistency, I need to reset my thinking. I'm a government worker, so why shouldn't I act as an agent to enforce government laws?
Doctors who embraced their progressive role as government agents when it came to the elderly, poor, drug seekers, fidgety kids, etc. are now angry that they are being told what to do by their masters. It is a joy to see the ostentatiously compassionate ensnared by their own unworkable philosophy. Forgive the poor grammar but to steal from the McDonald's slogan, "I'm Lovin' It!"