Sunday, March 21, 2010

Introduction to FIRM: Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine

By Paul Hsieh

Hi -- I'm Paul Hsieh, Diana's husband. Diana asked me to write a short introduction to FIRM, which stands for Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine.

FIRM was a project started by our friend Lin Zinser back in January 2007 to help promote free-market health care reform and to oppose a plan to impose government-run "universal health care" in Colorado.

Our mission statement is as follows:

We stand for Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine.

America was founded on the principles of freedom and individual rights. Applied to medicine, the law must respect the individual rights of doctors and other providers, allowing them the freedom to practice medicine. This includes the right to choose their patients, to determine the best treatment for their patients, and to bill their patients accordingly. In the same manner, the law must respect the individual rights of patients, allowing them the freedom to seek out the best doctors and treatment they can afford.

Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine (FIRM) promotes the philosophy of individual rights, personal responsibility, and free market economics in health care. FIRM holds that the only moral and practical way to obtain medical care is that of individuals choosing and paying for their own medical care in a capitalist free market. Federal and state regulations and entitlements, we maintain, are the two most important factors in driving up medical costs. They have created the crisis we face today.
During 2007 and 2008, FIRM (along with many others in Colorado) helped defeat the state-level plan for government-run health care. Starting in 2008, supporters of FIRM began speaking out and writing to promote free-market health care reform solutions at the national level.

After Lin Zinser left Colorado in late 2008 to take a position as Vice President of Public Outreach for the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights in Washington DC, I became the primary contact person for FIRM.

For more information about FIRM, please see our website:

Our blog is updated regularly at:

FIRM supporters have also written numerous articles and OpEds on free market health care reform. Our pieces have appeared in publications including The Objective Standard, PajamasMedia, the Christian Science Monitor, the Washington Examiner, and the Denver Post.

The full list can be found at:

Some of our major articles include:
Some of our recent OpEds include:
On a personal note, I am a physician practicing in the south Denver metro area. My specialty is diagnostic radiology, with subspecialty interests in trauma and orthopedic imaging.

(Disclaimer: I speak only for myself in my writings with FIRM or here on Modern Paleo. None of what I say should be construed as being an official position of my medical group or any of my practice partners.)

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