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So many lawyers, so little time...

"The prospect of hanging focuses the mind wonderfully"--Samuel Johnson

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Location: Louisville, KY, United States

Gastroenterologist, cyclist, cellist, Christian, husband, father, grandfather.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Mission statement

This is the best medical mission statement around:
"It becomes every man who purposes to give himself to the care of others, seriously to consider the four following things:

First, that he must one day give an account to the Supreme Judge of all the lives entrusted to his care.

Secondly, that all his skills and knowledge, and energy as they have been given him by God, so they should be exercised for His glory, and the good of mankind, and not for mere gain or ambition.

Thirdly, and not more beautifully than truly, let him reflect that he has undertaken the care of no mean creature, for, in order that he may estimate the value, the greatness of the human race, the only begotten Son of God became himself a man, and thus ennobled it with His divine dignity, and far more than this, died to redeem it.

And fourthly, that the doctor being himself a mortal man, should be diligent and tender in relieving his suffering patients, inasmuch as he himself must one day be a like sufferer."

Thomas Sydenham (1642-1689)

This is the second best:

"We're all on earth to help others. What on earth the others are here for, we don't know."--W.H. Auden


Anonymous Anonymous said...


8:34 PM  
Blogger Mike D said...

I arrived here via Hugh Hewitt, and I am glad I did. I wholeheartedly agree with the statement at the top of your blog (" Malpractice lawyers are killing the American healthcare system.")

I posted my reasons on my blog. I also linked, so that the three people a day who stumble upon my site by accident might add to the thousands upon thousands Mr. Hewitt leads your way.

9:23 PM  
Anonymous tom said...

I am a conservative Republican, Hugh Hewitt fan, and a plaintiff's lawyer. Go figure. In my view, there are as many bad lawyers as there are bad doctors. Think of all the cases you know of personally where serious, unexcusables mistakes were made. As the NEJ said several years ago, one of the leading causes of death is medical negligence. Now, that statistic has to be taken in context, but the fact of the matter is that doctors are as error prone as the rest of humanity, and it is not a failure of the legal system when it is proven to be true.

9:35 PM  
Blogger JusPasenThru said...

You are correct, of course. My blog has numerous references to medical errors, so no one would deny that it's a huge problem.

I take real issue with the legal industry diverting 30-40% of recovery away from the injured parties and to the lawyers themselves. I also take issue with the lawyers setting a foolish standard of care for us. No one can know everything all the time.

There must be a better way. I'll address this in later posts.

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Dr J said...

please post the reference to the NEJ article you cite. i think you are wrong in terms of the number of 'true' malpractice cases. all of us make mistakes, some of us are in positions where those mistakes cause deleterious outcomes or even death. you try sleeping with that responsibility. now, if you aren't sleeping well, add to it the lawyers who advertise on television and in the papers to 'get you your money' at no cost! the GI doc who mentioned that he does any test a patient requests is righ. if someone walks into my emergency department and thinks they have a broken ankle i can pretty much guarantee you they don't. they are walking for goodness sakes and with a good exam xrays are not needed. some are satisfied with this, some are not. the ones that arent' get an xray effectively becoming their own physicians. the threat of missing that one in a million does indeed cause everyone i practice with to order whatever tests could possibly be relevant during the blue moon and full lunar eclipse.
Dr. J

12:37 AM  

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