Modern Medicine in Lilliput

Posted by on Apr 4, 2010 in Satires

The lively little people of Lilliput one day decided, at least it sounded like they all decided, to inaugurate the progressive practice of prophylactic hysterectomies.
Led by the loudly proclaiming liberals and female discontents they shouted and successfully manipulated the general population into accepting the idea that having a total lower female organ cleanout would prevent many types of nasty cancers. Without recourse to science or logic they asserted that since a woman owned her sexual paraphernalia, she should have the property rights to them and dispose of them, as she felt fit. The majority of people, having just survived a war and economic depression were much more concerned with getting on with their materialistic lives and watching their lascivious boob tubes than what might be the consequences. They didn’t say they disagreed so this was considered wide popular support by the king and his dozing counselors.
They ordered that the barber surgeons must do the cutting whether they liked it or not. But of course they would be well compensated. The sage judges lolling on the Queen’s bench nodded wisely, “Of course it’s a woman’s right. It says so right here in the Real Estate Act, section 59, sub 29, item 19q”
Then one day a breathless messenger arrived before the king. “Hail your majesties, may you live for ever and all that stuff I don’t have time to get into. There is pandemonium at the hog exchange.”
The king aroused from his midday nap on his very comfortable throne soon enough to hear part of the message. “Quickly summon my Chancellor of the Exchanger”
When the flustered man arrived with parts of his midday meal clinging to his beard, the King in high dungeon roared, “What is the meaning of this?”
“Well your very great highness of low pedigree, my advisors tell me the trouble is that the economy has gone sour; much more supply than demand.
“And why is that?” growled the king yearning to get back to his dreaming.
The portly Chancellor, actually quite a good fellow but with a demanding wife, blushed scarlet, coughed, spluttered, bowed, scraped and tried to beat a hasty retreat until the king caught him in the cowardly act. Yet, recognizing this was something quite serious, the king softened, “You have served me faithfully and well, now don’t hesitate to tell me the truth as you see it.”
“Not enough people, your kind majesty”
“So make more people”
“Can’t do that, your imperial know it all. There aren’t enough uteri”
“What happened to the uteri”?
“The women sold them to use in the production of youth enhancing makeup. Actually that is one part of the market that is doing quite well.”
“This is preposterous, ridiculous, disastrous, barbaric, foolish in the extreme. I hereby order, (Wake up my counselors) this practice must cease and desist worth-with.” Then he smiled broadly because he always liked to use words he didn’t really understand to make his pronouncements sound mightily important.
Suddenly the sleepy king sat bolt upright having been jabbed by the dainty sharp elbow belonging his demure queen.
“My darling, you simply cannot do that. We women have the right to do what we want with our body parts and the judges made it the law. Besides you men have, without concern for women or the country, had yourselves snipped at government expense for many years. Why shouldn’t we, Yes why shouldn’t we” and she burst into song and danced a little jig on the shiny marble surface of the new throne room.
The king and the Chancellor put their heads together and whispered. The kings lopsided smile returned. “Brilliant, my good chap. Well done I say. Jolly good and all that claptrap. We will do it immediately. If there aren’t enough people to create the demand, we’ll give them all more money and make them dissatisfied with whatever they have. Then they can spend freely, kick start production, make jobs so they can spend more and we will all live happily ever after. Make it so, Chancellor. You Chamberlain bring me another pillow so I can sleep more soundly thru this boring debate in my House of Commoners.”
“Err, just a minute your gracious nincompoop. We don’t have any more money to give your greedy people. We just built the world’s largest football stadium, remember?”
“Then mint some”
“We have no more gold”
” Then tell the miners to get on with it.
There are no more miners”
“Then hire some farmers.”
“There are no more farmers.”
“Then tell the doctors to make babies.”
“There are too few uteri.”
“Then …oh forget it. Just make our beloved dollpoo coins from copper with a bit of yellow plating to look like gold. We’ve fooled them before and we can do it again. Right? Whenever there is a wily will, there is a sneaky way.”
The king was just returning to his well-earned nap when in burst another messenger. “Your ignoble potentate sire, there is no more bread in the people’s bakeries. Why? Because there is not enough grain.”
“Then give them cake”, chirped the sweet queen. The king ignored her but some men and women in waiting heard and nodded solemnly to each other.
“Why is there not enough grain? Because there are not enough farmers.”
“Then import farmers you profound idiot.”
“We did but they wanted to have you dethroned and decapitated so we sent them back.”
In rushed another messenger, battered and bloodied. “Oh greatest tank commander of all battle fields, fiercest eagle of every sky, mightiest whale of the deepest deep….” Being a well trained soldier he knew his duty to properly address the king but he couldn’t finish because he fainted from blood loss. The King leaned forward, “What is he saying? Quick get it out of him before the fool up and dies”
The worthy Chamberlain was the first to bend and hear his last whispered words, “Our mortal enemy is attacking and beating us back because we are too few’ is what he said your royal sliminess'”
“Then recruit more men”
“There aren’t any more”.
“Ah yes, too few uteri. Then recruit women”
A scream pierced the lofted chamber. “You men are all alike. You expect us to do everything. We are dainty. We can’t fight. The sight of blood makes me sick. Our lot is to bare children if and when we so choose. You boys take your war toys and play your war games. We women have much more important things to do. Right now I have a hair care appointment. Why are men always so stupid?” At which point she beat her beloved King in groveling submission.

Chapter II
The next day, the King, well swathed in bandages, was awakened early by his Chamberlain.
“Good morning your somewhat lowered highness. I’m afraid I have bad news. The Collective College of Apothecaries and Barber Surgeons are threatening to go on strike. They have not been paid for 2 months, hospital beds are none existent, patients must line up at the clinic for so long they become violent and the national medical fund is empty.”
“Now just a minute. I heard what you just said. Why do I let you mock and malign me? I should have your head. Don’t you know I am the most popular king this country has ever had?”
“Tut tut your malignant loftiness. That is no way to speak with your loyal Chamber pot fetcher. Your popularity is an illusion and you know it. What are you going to do for the Royal CCA and BS? Don’t forget you are scheduled for some cutting yourself. If the Royal BSer gets more put out he might just cut the royal artery by mistake and there is very little blood left in the Royal Blood Repository.
At this inconvenient moment the Royal BS just happened to be paying a home visit to his Royal patient. “Quite frankly, part of the problem is that the patients don’t trust us. Every time we give them a diagnosis, they want more tests or a second and often third opinion. There are many reasons they no longer trust us but the biggest is that they have become accustomed to us acquiescing each time they want a total. We know all too well that there are no real medical indications for it. So having had their choice in this matter, they now assert their property rights to have any body part they wish cut off and sold to the highest “Used Parts of Body” bidder. These not so well frozen parts are resold to some poor ape who has lost an arm or an elderly Pooh-Bah who needs a revitalized kidney or lung and at well inflated prices”
The ground shook and there was a terrifyingly loud but muffled voice shouting something like “I told you so”
The King went white then pink. The Chamber potter dived under his bed. “Will someone do something to shut him up”, screamed the King. “Why can’t we at least get him out of our Royal roses? He hears everything we say and if he doesn’t hear I’m sure he reads my mind.”
“I’m awfully sorry sire, we all are, but he weighs over 2000 Lilliputians tons (LPs) and there is no moving equipment that powerful. They have tied and gagged him as well as possible but somehow he gets his mouth loose”
Then a mighty roar burst thru the windows. “You cannot gag truth. Truth and gravity always win.” Followed by a painful yowl as the guards stuck Gulliver with a myriad pikes and swords.
It became ominously quiet in the Royal bedchambers.
Finally the blubbering King spoke. “As I see it, nobody trusts you BSers because you no longer practice according to the patient’s need but according to their wishes. Now that you don’t use science-guided judgment for what is best for each patient, they no longer trust your professional opinion. So to gain a modicum of cooperation, you have to be popular with your patients. To be popular, you give them any herbs or cutting they wish for at any moment. You are not doctors. You’re bloodied technicians.”
“Well your cynical sharpness, and I never thought I would say this, but you got it just about right”
“But why ruin a once honorable profession?”, lamented the King.
“Because it is the law and breaking the law of the Body Parts Rights Act has severe penalties for us Docs. Who made it the law? The 8 fat benchers you appointed, your majestic stupidity.
“Then remove them immediately and lets get some sense back into this mess.”
“We can’t your despotic kingship. You gave them lifetime tenure”
“Are you saying that they made a law which makes it legal to purposely harm (“treatment” without purpose or benefit) my people and be well paid to do so; paid from my, I mean, the public purse?”
“You summed it up quite well, your inimitable autocrat.”
“Isn’t there anyone who tried to stop this slide into insanity”?
” There were a few, but they were convicted of medical heresy. They now live at your Royal expense and pleasure….”
“….in prison.”

Note to reader; the words in italics were said very softly of course.