« on: February 18, 2009, 11:22:10 PM »
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one of my friends decided to do that. At first I was thinking: what are you doing? But now I see the wisdom in her decision.
[...] it has more to do with power, power over life and death of another human being...
I am not quite sure what do you mean by that... while it has been argued that doctors murder more than any other professional group, their partners, relatives, patients or victims in service of the state or an ideology (with the power over life or death likely attracting them to the profession in the first place), it should not be forgotten that all doctors have less power over life and death than we believe and they like us to think.
The trouble with medicine in the modern Western world is that there is so little doctors can do. Miracle cures are as rare today as in biblical times. Most conditions presented to GPs in their surgeries are long-term, chronic complaints for which modern medicine offers no cure and not much in the way of treatment. Talk to any GP and you will hear a tale of frustration at the prospect of another packed surgery with patients who cannot be helped except with liberal doses of TLC (tender loving care), backed perhaps by a harmless prescription to make them feel their complaint is a genuine problem. It is difficult for doctors. They enter the profession with high expectations of healing the sick and curing disease, and they discover that reality is crueller. The major causes of ill health - diseases such as diphtheria, typhoid and polio - have long since been defeated by improved living conditions, vaccination and antibiotics. For modern ailments - failing hearts, stiffened joints, old age - there is little to offer.
Did Harold Shipman, a man who liked to control those around him, become progressively angered by his failure to alter the course of his patients' lives - to the point where he felt it simpler to dispatch them? We cannot know. But we do know that the syringe of morphine he carried in his bag gave him the power over life and death that he otherwise lacked. Dr. Mathew Lukwiya was at the opposite end of the spectrum. He was one of the top graduates of his generation at the University of Makerere in Kampala, but instead of emigrating to South Africa, like many of his colleagues, where a life of relative ease and wealth would have awaited him, he chose to put his talents to work where they mattered, in the war-torn province of northern Uganda where he was born. Why does a doctor make such a choice? There are many reasons, of course -- but one may be the prospect of making a real difference. To serve a population facing extreme privation and poverty after years of war is to know real power. The simplest remedies -- cheap antibiotics, basic surgery -- can have the most dramatic effects. A doctor there can save lives on a major scale.
Making a difference is what most doctors want to do but, in the West, find difficult to achieve. Frank Huyler, the doctor-turned-author, is frank about this. He chose to work in emergency medicine, an unpopular specialty, because "it reminds you of the elemental forces we often don't see in the developed world". Even so, he told a reporter: "Most of what we do in the ER are really small moments, not life and death. Only some of the time does that happen and only some of the time can we do anything about it. A lot of the time, people who are going to die are going to die no matter what we do." So there we are. Killing people is simple. Curing them is more difficult. Caring, not curing, is what medicine is mostly about. But for some doctors, discovering their powerlessness can be a source of unhappiness.
Enter Radovan Karadzic: was Karadzic merely a doctor who ran a genocide, or did his profession as a doctor play a significant part in his genocidal role?
I intern for the Government...hours are definitely better (most of the attorneys are in at 9 and gone by 5 or 6, with obvious exceptions if there is a trial coming up or something), and everyone, for the most part, is friendly and relatively happy...however, there is not much money in it, so you have to be prepared to either leave after a few years and go into private practice, or kinda scrape by, cause it's not easy paying off loans and paying living expenses on Gov't salary. Worst comes to worst, you do it for a few years, get great trial experience, then go over to private practice and make more money.