THE TEACHING OF COMPASSION MEANS TEACHING A PERSON TO NOT ONLY BE SELF-SERVING (AND THAT THE “SELF” IS WELL-SERVED WHEN YOU ARE IN SERVICE TO OTHERS)..TO CARE FOR OTHERS…TO HAVE CONCERN FOR THOSE OUTSIDE OF THEIR FAMILY…FOR THOSE OUTSIDE OF THEIR “GROUP”…..
I would venture to say that in a particular case, medical education has failed when a medical doctor is not seeking to heal as many people as possible; or when that practitioner is seeking to harm rather than help patients. We often forget (or overlook) the terrible and unethical behavior exhibited during WW II by very well-trained and technically competent German scientist and medical doctors. As professional educators we must always take care that we don’t create STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) practitioners who have very competent analytical brains, but who also have very unethical and immoral hearts. If we fail to educate and engage both the mind and spirit; we could in fact unleash greater harm on the world; by helping to produce a person who is now armed with the knowledge and skills to do great acts of damage to their fellow human beings. While watching the local Alabama news yesterday, the words “cynical opportunism” came to mind. This is what happens when holding political office is reduced to: undermine and destroy anything “Obama”; even if “it hurts poor Alabamians”, Black or White. I watched as the governor (allegedly a medical doctor) and the state attorney general (not sure what he is alleged to be) expressed “glee” at the thought that thousands of poor and middle-class Alabamians (Black and White) could face the possibility of losing the federal subsidy for their health care insurance provided through the Affordable Care Act (AFA). Why is this clearly partisan court decision that is designed to hurt so many, be a cause for celebration? Now that takes a certain kind of meanness. Alabama was doing a great job, before yesterday’s court ruling, in denying many of its citizens access to quality healthcare by not taking advantage of the federally funded opportunity to expand Medicare under the ACA. I am not an anthropologist or a cultural-linguist; but I want to invent a new term: “Sub- species thinking”; that is when reptilian and mammalian brain functions over take and undue years of human evolutionary brain development. I know, the “Bible belt” thing, and yes, I dare to speak the “E” word (evolution); but my observation is that this “belt” is made out of cardboard as these Republicans engage in the harshest, lack of compassion, absence of any mercy and concern, unChristian behavior imaginable.
I always believe that education can solve all of the problems in the world; but it won’t help in this case, as I suspect that these two guys know better, but just won’t do better; thus the tag: “Cynical Opportunism”. The educational question here is, can the White citizenry come to understand that Black folks (or specifically the Black person named Obama) may be the target of the joke; but it is they who must suffer from a collateral laugh at the expense of the quality of their lives. The one blaring failure of Karl Marx is that he did not account for the deep and enduring power of racism; and how it could be used; long after slavery, years after the Civil War and Reconstruction; to neutralize, distract and convince the White American poor, working and non-working class to continually act and vote against their own economic, survival and in this case health interest. The explanation for this sad social-phenomena would require not the writings of a political-economist; but rather the creativity of a fiction writer.
*My apologies to those wonderful and thoughtful medical practitioners who do uphold the Hippocratic Oath; Bless you!