The U.S. Attorney General and the U.S. Medical Policy

A lot of disputes are conducted around the recent changes in the U.S. medical policy initiated by the U.S. Attorney General Ashkroft. The matter is that he made directions according to which medical workers are to be penalized for prescribing medication on demand of the patients who are badly ill and wish to make haste their death. This is with no doubt a burning question, for a lot of discussions are held around and rather different opinions are supported. But, in Ashkroft’s opinion, the death on intention is in fact a suicide, and it is not to be legally supported by medicine. However, the Attorney General is not going to initiate complex monitoring of medical practice all over the country. The prescription of limited substances to relief patient’s pain is also not to be forbidden.

The U.S. society is shown an attempt by the government to control and regulate the work of medicinal establishments. The Ashkroft’s direction will influence the work of physicians all over the country and in fact deprive the states of the power to regulate processes in the area of medicine. The Attorney General states that the decision is not based on some ideology, but is a logic result of implementing the ban to legal manufacturing or distributing marijuana, which was adopted by the Supreme Court. However, physicians are still allowed to prescribe the patients substances which are permitted by certain legal documents (the Death with Dignity Act and the Controlled Substances Act). 

The Attorney General was rather polite and well-posed in his speech; he assured medical workers that there is no potential threat of constant scrutiny by the Administration of Drug Enforcement. He said that this institution will make a difference between suicide approved by the assistance of a physician and the necessary measures applied in order to prevent or eliminate sharp pain.

This way Ashkroft has taken away the right of states to conduct their own policy in the field of medicine. And the government (and this is quite unnatural) supported those limitations in spite of the fact that earlier it made it possible to prevent them. In other words the privileges of the states were undermined. This way the whole control over medical practice in the USA is accumulated in the hands of the U.S. Attorney General. This fact can’t be out of social discussion.

Nowadays medical workers provide health care due to the state law, requests of the patients, and personal consequences. But you can imagine what it is going to be with medicine in case of full ruling by the Attorney General, who is not medical expert at all. That’s why medical associations of the country contest the decisions of Ashkroft.