Saturday, January 24, 2009

Is it the Hippocratic Oath or the Hypocrite Oath?

We have all heard of the Hippocratic Oath. It's the oath that we have always thought of doctors taking. However, according to Wikipedia, it is no longer obligatory or taken by all physicians. Maybe that is why Dr. Christopher Thompson of Brentwood, California felt he was justified in his decision to teach two cyclists "a lesson". I suppose he was one of those doctors who didn't take the oath. Or maybe he just assumed that since these cyclists were not his patients, he didn't have to apply the oath to this situation. Because that is an oath to "do no harm" and I am pretty sure that driving down the road and slamming on your brakes in front of two cyclists had some harm intended. This decision on the part of a 59 year old physician, caused one cyclist to be thrown through the cars rear window and the other to land on theh pavement. As a result of this incident, he is being charged with several felony charges including reckless driving and battery. Apparently, this incident is not the doctor's first run in with cyclist. The LA Times reports that he has attempted to do the same thing to other cyclists.

I could not help but be shocked when I read this article the first time. Just plain old human ethics should keep someone from doing something like this. I can understand the fact that some of these cyclists do ride as if they "own the road". I do understand that it can become frustrating. I don't understand waging war against them in your car. It is not a fair battle. He could have killed these men. This is a man who has promised to preserve life and instead he has put it in harms way. Are we really that angry? Are we really that in need of emotional release? Take a martial arts class, lift some weights, write blogs where you bitch about all the things that make you mad... do something... but not this.

I am sure the California doctor has a good lawyer and it looks like he is sticking to his plea of "not guilty" as of now. The trial is set for March 6th... which I am sure they will delay 15 times... Man, I would love to be the lawyer on the other side of this trial. Of course, before I can do that, I will need to learn how to control my own anger because what I would really want to do is walk across the court room and just knock that hypocrite upside his head. :)

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