The Doctor and the Virus
This letter to the ST Forum today got angry doc thinking.
H1N1 flu: Doctors' moral obligation overrides the law
LAST Saturday's report by Mr Andy Ho ('Flu: Docs need not swallow bitter pill') makes me feel that doctors are nothing but cowards. They have no compassion, moral obligations and certainly no passion in their profession.
Mr Ho indicates that doctors are not obliged to treat patients during a flu pandemic because 'under common law, no one is legally obliged to rescue another from danger'.
Fortunately, this is not the case. People choose to be doctors because it is their calling. They are passionate in wanting to heal the sick. There is a Chinese saying that goes, 'to heal the sick, one has the heart of a parent', so they are definitely compassionate and high in moral obligations.
The law spells out a lot of things, but moral obligation overrides the law.
Take this example. In a major road accident, the first to stop and help the injured before an ambulance arrives would be other motorcyclists. Parking their vehicles along a highway or expressway is breaking the law, but it is still done. Why? Because it is a humane act, a moral obligation...not because the law says so.
How generous of Mr Lee to risk lives that are not his own.
Fellow-blogger Gigamole seems to agree with Mr Lee's view, and frankly angry doc too thinks that risking his life to fight a disease is part of his job description.
But angry doc doesn't do it because the thinks it's a humane act or a moral obligation. His motivation comes from a... a different ethos, reflected here in the novel "The Neverending Story":
Only a Greenskin would have dared to hunt these beasts, and moreover they used no other weapons than bows and arrows. The Greenskins were believers in chivalrous combat, and often it was not the hunted but the hunter who lost his life. The Greenskins loved and honored the purple buffaloes and held that only those willing to be killed by them had the right to kill them.
The Greenskin and the purple buffalo, the doctor and the virus, the Old Man and the Sea.
It's only fair, don't you think?