Saturday, February 07, 2009
So, Just Why Do They Say These Things? Part Two.
"I'm a Libertarian by nature"
I've been waiting for a while to air this one, as I feel it's an observation that needs making. All I lacked was a suitable topic to segué in with. Professor Maryon-Davis obliged very nicely.
Recent history is replete with examples of one very deeply repugnant tendency. That of medical establishments (that is to say the upper-echelons of the profession) to gravitate to the nastiest, cruellest, most morally bankrupt of political and/or governmental philosophies.
From the charming alumni of the SS Medical School at Alte Reise, to the Soviet medics working the psychiatric hospitals, keeping their charges whacked out on Triftazine it's the usual suspects.
What is it about people who (theoretically) start off wanting to heal and better the condition of humanity that they end up in a diametrically opposed position?
Doctors in my experience (and I have a lot of it), are imbued with an acute sense of entitlement. Why shouldn't they be? After decades of gruelling study, and a post-graduate regime that appears to owe more to Tom Brown's Schooldays than to Casualty, who the hell wouldn't? It's one profession that I unequivocally defer to as deserving every reward that society can bestow on them.
There are however, as I see it, two crumbs in the lemonade. Firstly, the profession has a bad habit of admitting some individuals who, while possessing the requisite scientific and academic attributes are fundamentally stupid emotionally. Which is to say, they are possibly callous, venal, contemptuous of others and so lacking in empathy that I wouldn't entrust them with the care of a potted cactus, leave alone a human being.
The second, which is a little more complex is that Doctor's regard used to derive from the community of which they were a part. They were automatically respected and deferred to, and as a result were integral pillars of society by virtue of joining the club.
The development of the NHS has fundamentally altered the balance of that relationship, and as it has careered onwards, expanding into an unmanageable empire the situation has worsened. Nu-Labour's deeply unpleasant and poisonous need to politicise every organisation with which they interact has exacerbated matters still further.
As senior members of the profession derive more and more of their patronage from the state, and are increasingly exposed to our revolting political class, they seem to absorb more and more of their repellant characteristics. When mixed with the sort of intellectual hubris endemic among some senior medics we see the development of a very dangerous pathology.
Some medics you see, believe that their achievements not only qualify them for the highest benefits befitting higher professionals, but that they confer on them some form of intellectual and moral apotheosis; to the point where they feel themselves utterly superior to us ordinary mortals (the Consultant system may play a rôle in this, and I may return to it later), with the inevitable consequence that they view the general public almost as herd animals.
This would explain their Nazi and Soviet counterparts, where professional detachment mutates into absolute indifference to and contempt for those who do not belong/conform/comply. In short, hubris + politicisation = Maryon-Davis et al.
Normal, real Doctors in the Dr. Rant and Dr. Crippen mould don't seem to feel the need to behave like god's anointed, and confine themselves to stupid old fashioned things like... Oh, treating the sick and giving advice. Super-inflated bullshit factories cum proto-fascists like Maryon-Davis, Donaldson and the rest of them long, long ago discarded such antedeluvian wank for more enjoyable and dare I say it, profitable activities.
At the height of the Roman Empire, victorious generals were granted a formal Triumph to parade their troops and spoils of war through the streets of the capital. Throughout the procession, a slave would stand at their shoulder, periodically whispering "Remember thou art but mortal" to them, to avert the jealous anger of the gods.
Perhaps normal Doctors could set aside a couple of hours a month to seek out one or more of these evil-minded, didactic fuckers; ram a cattle prod up their socket and as they key the switch whisper "Be a Doctor, not a cunt" in their ears.
Just a thought.