The Moral Test

Posted: July 18, 2012 in Uncategorized
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A friend gave me a copy of the this year’s graduation address to the Harvard Medical School by Donald Berwick, MD (JAMA, June 27, 2012, Vol 307, No. 24). In the address Berwick told his own story of working with a patient named Isaac – a young man who was treated for his leukemia but killed by the world. And his challenge to those budding young doctors was for them to be healers not only of the body but of the world that often crushes the body. He concluded by saying:

“If Isaiah needs a bone marrow transplant, then, by the oath you swear, you will get it for him. But Isaiah needs more. He needs the compassion of a nation, the generosity of a commonwealth. He needs justice. He needs a nation to recall that, no matter what the polls say, and no matter what happens to be temporarily convenient at a time of political combat and economic stress, that the moral test transcends convenience.”

  1. N Miller says:

    Much needed and welcome words! Let us not forget that to band-aid the symptoms does not eliminate the causes.

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