Injured patients who want to help and be heard,
Thomas Jefferson said that given the choice between
government without newspapers and newspapers without government, he would choose
to have newspapers.
In medicine we have government without newspapers. Patients
cannot find out what they need to know to make informed choices. No one in
medicine records or reports the information patients need to know the most. So
patients will have to.
Ordinary people do horrible things
when they think they can get away with them
Rough Draft / Under Construction
Dr. Sales was used to thinking of himself in a certain way.
It was not in the way others saw him, but that is not unusual. When his all
white team played football against a black school in high school, he called them blue
gums without thinking that was he was a racist. When he taunted or beat up
freshmen he did not think of himself as a bully. When he was a college freshman
and got a fifteen year old girl drunk and had sex with her, he did not think of
himself as a lawbreaking predator. He bragged about it.
If he had been asked
to testify under oath about why he had become a surgeon, no part of his
testimony would have revealed the desire to become the alpha male who got the nurses.
He would repeat the litany that people in medicine believe about themselves and
their colleagues - the desire to help people.
Watching him in his offices and in the hospital would be
enough to understand better, unless you were one of the people similarly indoctrinated. It's not that the
lust and the egos and the politics are not noticed in medicine. But what they notice
does not get added to the tally. The evidence of their senses selectively is sifted to eliminate that which does not support the way
they want to think about themselves.
So when he assaulted Aaron on the operating table, there was
not one cell in his brain that felt guilty or wrong.
Aaron's Uncle Bob married into the family when he was 20.
When he was 19 he had come home from his freshman year at college saying they
hadn't taught him anything and he wasn't going back. He wanted to go into
business. His father was in business and helped him out. Uncle Bob got rich.
Twenty years later his wife was complaining to Aaron's mom about their
eldest son. He had come home from college after his freshman year saying he
wasn't going back. Aaron's mom said, "Sounds just
like his father."
"What do you mean?"
"Didn't his father do the same thing?"
There was a long pause after which Aaron's mom said, "Do you mean you've
forgotten that Bob quit college after his freshman year?"
"I think even Bob has forgotten."
Uncle Bob had homes in several cities, belonged to the best
country clubs in each of them and was used to thinking of himself in a certain
way. Quitting college wasn't one of the ways.
. . .
Persons, places, events, names and situations in this story are purely
Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or to their names or
is coincidental and unintentional.