Professional Self-Regulation and the Public Interest in Canada
[CanLyme Note: The Lyme disease disaster for Canadians is an excellent example of how the ‘self-regulating’ medical colleges and medical associations have woven themselves into the publicly funded health care system positioning themselves as the only experts, and policing any physicians who disagree with them, out of business. No outside scientific expertise is allowed no matter how much harm is done to the public, and in fact they ridicule true ethical scientists while themselves practice unethical anti-science and psuedo-science. It is all about ego and controlling an agenda and has little to with public good. In Canada relative to Lyme disease the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Institute of Health Research, the provincial Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Canadian Public Health Laboratory Network, and the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases of Canada, the newly formed Lyme Research Network, and the Infectious Disease Society of America all collude together to control and enforce their poor guidelines for testing and (mis) treatment of Lyme disease. Many of their members belong to more than one or several of these organizations. It is a good ole boys network, a closed shop feeding at the trough of our tax dollars. Outside or contradictory expertise is rigorously rejected while Canadians are losing their health, their jobs, their homes and their life due entirely to this closed system of self regulation. Doctors are blocked from treating patients appropriately on threat of losing their medical licence. Our lawmakers must step up to the plate and act on behalf of the public that elected them by enacting laws that impose ethical open transparent regulation and true public oversight from the very beginning of every policy relating to Lyme and other tick-borne disease. The United States congress is now leaning in that direction.]
Tracey L. Adams
Abstract: The regulation of professional groups has often been justified as being in the public interest. In recent decades, policymakers in Anglo-American countries have questioned whether self-regulating professions have truly served the public interest, or whether they have merely acted in their own interests. This paper draws on
legislative records and policy reports to explore meanings attached to professional self-regulation and the public interest in Canada by state actors over the past 150 years. The findings point to a shift in the definition of the public interest away from service quality and professional interests, towards efficiency, human rights, consumer
choice, and in some contexts business interests. Changing views of the public interest contribute to regulatory change.
“…. Regulatory legislation granting professionals a privileged
place in the market is a prize awarded to organized professional groups with
connections and status who have managed to convince legislators that they deserve
market privileges (Murphy, 1988; Saks, 2012). Through regulatory legislation, professionals
restrict access to professional practice and accompanying rewards.
In this view, claiming to serve the public interest is nothing more than a tactic
used within professional projects or inter-professional battles. Abbott (1988) documents
how professional groups fight for jurisdiction and dominance in their fields of
practice. In their conflicts with competitors, they seek to win over key audiences:
employers, the public, and the state—with their claims to expertise and authority.
For Abbott (1988, p. 60), claims to fulfillsocial obligations have been less important:
“merely paraded in the preambles to codes of professional ethics.””