America's premier medical organization has grown bored of making sick people healthy and has turned its attention to making healthy people sick—in the head. At least, that's one interpretation of the motives behind the 54-page guidance the American Medical Association issued on Thursday, titled "Advancing Health Equity: A Guide to Language, Narrative, and Concepts." The title, though clearly designed to put readers to sleep, masks the real purpose of the document: the politicization of medicine and a pledge of allegiance to wokeism.
"The AMA is increasingly ideological in all their public statements," said Dr. Jeff Barrows of the Christian Medical and Dental Association. The guidance explicitly targets "narratives that uncritically center meritocracy and individualism" as non-inclusive. As an alternative, it suggested that "health equity and related fields, including critical race theory ... gender studies, disability studies, as well as scholarship from social medicine, gives us a foundation for an alternative narrative, one that challenges the status quo." They're not following the science. They're playing politics. And they're "very proud of it," said Barrows.
The meat of the document focused on redefining how doctors talk to their patients. Nearly 40 percent of the document (20 pages) is devoted to a sprawling "glossary of key terms," with lengthy explanations of what words are supposed to mean, because only the thoroughly indoctrinated can understand news speak. Normal medical "key terms," such as common ailments, symptoms, conditions, and treatments, are nowhere to be found. Even terms that might conceivably relate to health care are distorted. For example, "able-bodied" is "a term used to describe someone who does not identify as having a disability" (emphasis added). For the AMA, this term is problematic not because their redefinition voided it of meaning but "it implies that all people with disabilities lack 'able bodies.'" How this helps someone recover from a hernia or complete physical therapy after hand surgery we may never know.
But the AMA's guide for doctors goes far beyond redefining medical terms in non-medical ways. In fact, its primary emphasis is on the political jargon of the Left, with entries for "anti-racism," "cisgenderism," "class conflict," "coming out," "Critical Race Theory," "discrimination," "'Discovery of the Americas,'" "environmental justice," "'free' market," "intersectionality," "Latinx," "microaggression," "patriarchy," "political power," "post-racial society," "public narrative," "racial justice," "stigmatizing language," "structural violence," and "White fragility." Surely they are the people, and wisdom will die with them! I only wish my doctor had known all of this the last time I needed a prescription filled.
The document also redefined an individual's responsibility for his behavior as a social problem. For example, explained Barrows, for people who refuse to seek health care, doctors are instructed to describe them as "workers under-resourced with... a particular health care resource." From his own experience, "when someone was not seeking health care, there was a reason for it, or when they were doing something that was not good for their health care, it was an individual decision." Doctors should "treat the individual as an individual," insisted Barrows, but this approach instructs physicians to treat them "as part of a structural system."
Barrows warned that what has begun as "recommended terminology... will become demanded terminology." He foresees a day when health care workers could lose their job for using non-approved language. "It's certainly an indoctrination that will no doubt begin in medical school," he said. This terminology will guide scripts for aspiring physicians and be drilled into their minds through training sessions.
The Left once revered medical advice. But just as politics has triumphed over science on COVID, so the AMA seeks to implement political orthodoxy throughout medicine.