By JAY HARTLEYThe story of a community hospital and a hospital closure.
A few weeks ago, we published a story about a nurse from the local community hospital who was fired after she complained that a patient who had come into the hospital and then returned home with a blood clot in his arm had been discharged without proper treatment.
We also featured an article about a community nurse who was forced to resign after she took an unpaid leave to care for a patient in intensive care.
Today we want to highlight another story, a story of an American doctor who is fighting for his job and his life after being denied his basic human right to practice medicine.
Dr. Matthew C. Pfeifer is a US-based emergency medicine physician who serves on the National Institutes of Health’s Committee on the Quality of Care.
He was one of the first doctors in the United States to take a “no-cancel” stance in December 2016 when the Obama administration announced that it was halting all Medicare payments to physicians who refused to treat a patient with COVID-19.
The Department of Health and Human Services had announced earlier that year that it would stop the payments to doctors who refused or refused to provide “medical services” to a patient.
In an interview with Medscape Medical News, Dr. Pferlich described his fight for his medical privileges as a “humanitarian case,” one that had “become a public health crisis.”
He described it as “a crisis of conscience” because, he said, he was “being refused a vital health service, and yet being denied a fair trial.”
“I am trying to get a fair opportunity to treat my patients,” he said.
“I think we have a duty to do our part to protect those who are at risk, particularly the sickest people who need the most care.”
Dr. Pfifer said that while he was able to take the “no call” option in order to continue his medical practice, he had been denied treatment from his local community doctor.
“In my community, there are no doctors,” he told Medscape.
“So I called the local emergency room, I called them and I spoke to them on the phone and they said that my privileges were not affected, that my doctor is not required to see me, and they didn’t even give me a referral to see him.”
Dr Pfeiferes family was “shocked” and “disturbed” by his treatment, he told us, but he was not surprised that his “care is being denied.”
“That’s a pretty blatant violation of the law,” he explained.
“And I have never had to do anything like that in my life.
I’ve never been denied a service, I’ve not had to be seen in emergency rooms, and I’ve been given care by other doctors who have been on that call list.””
They said that if I did this, then I was going to be forced to do this.
That is a clear violation of my constitutional right to due process.”
As a physician, Dr Pfeiefs work includes the care of about 6,000 patients, including 6,300 who are in critical condition.
He was the first doctor in the country to sign up for a new, government-funded, private healthcare plan for patients with COV-19, which has now become a national model for other doctors to follow.
His colleagues at the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have been fighting for the right to refuse patients with the virus, and now the White House has said it would halt all federal payments to providers who refuse to treat the patients.CMS, however, has argued that this policy is necessary because the virus is spreading faster than ever before, and the payments have been a critical lifeline for some hospitals.
Dr Pferifs case is one of many instances where the US has been forced to respond to the crisis by changing its rules, and some doctors have been forced out of their jobs.
But in Dr Pfiferes case, the government did not “do the right thing” and stopped payments to his patients.
“If the federal government was going back to a position where it was not paying the doctors, then that’s going to have an effect on the community,” Dr Pfferifer said.
“It’s going be like a huge slap in the face.”
He is not alone in his fight.
In a similar case, Dr James F. O’Keefe of the anti-establishment group Code Pink was forced out as a medical assistant at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
His actions are not isolated.
In May, the Washington Post reported that a Massachusetts man who was an oncologist at a community cancer hospital was ordered out by the state of Massachusetts for refusing to provide his patients with chemotherapy, despite being told by his cancer doctor that he had to continue chemotherapy.
Dr Pfiefer was among those who filed suit against