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Sep 25, 1994

Thomas Szasz on Socialism in Health Care

The health care debate is fundamentally broken, argues the great psychiatry skeptic Thomas Szasz, because it assumes a flawed premise. Namely, that “diseases require treatment, so the thing to do is to avoid diseases so you don’t need treatment.”

Szasz ties this to the problem of socialism in health care. Because of the way we think about disease, we have a health care system that removes control from individuals and gives it to state-enabled doctors and insurance companies. In psychology, for example, “diseases are no longer defined by pathologists but are defined essentially by a political process.”

This has lead to, among other things, more expensive health care. Szasz offers seven reasons why, many having to do with the way we think about disease, how it should be treated, and the relationship between citizens and medicine.

Szasz spoke at the Future of Freedom 5th Anniversary Conference on September 25, 1994.