Sunday, 6 January 2008

Written by a GP

...and reproduced with permission

"I will provide a Public Service not a Public Convenience"

I will not open all hours, happily available to be dumped or pissed on by any passing, pissant politician or patient with the inclination. I will not have pennies, or anything else, shoved in my mouth, smile cheerfully and open my doors or my legs to order. I will certainly not pretend that I like it. I will not be handily available to deal with any and all bodily fluids man or woman may be heir to. Friends, I will not swallow.
I will not provide hand-washing facilities. It is not my problem to supply solutions, soapy or otherwise, to every grubby member, be these Members of Parliament or MRSA-ridden nether regions. Pontius Pilate can find another scrubber.
I will not provide sanitary disposal devices. The elderly may well take up a lot of medical care but so they should. They are old. They are owed. They are people not bed-blocking tins of beans. I will not help dispose of them nor help them dispose of themselves. BMA Ethics committee take note.
I will not provide a mirror for morons. I will not reflect and reinforce their pathetic, self-pitying views of themselves in the bogus name of empathy. I will not provide medical validation of their assumed victim-status at the expense of the sick. I will not be society's sympathy-sump. I will monotonously remind anyone ducking under my radar who isn't patently ill, that they can choose to get a life. Maybe not the exact life that they feel their uniqueness deserves, but a life.
I will not provide or become a Speak-your-Weight machine. Fat people have generally noticed they are fat. Telling them the obvious, in the absence of any effective medical intervention short of bariatric surgery, is not my job. Lifestyle dictation and regulation are not my reasons for being. I will not weigh and turn away the overweight in need of surgery any more than I would deny them antibiotics. I am not God, or more secularly, the external locus of control for an entirely screwed-up Western world.
I will not allow Bill Posters to stick anything up, in or on my pristine surfaces. In particular, I will not allow him to advertise services that cannot be, should not be, or are not provided. Unless of course this is a strictly private arrangement between me and my conscience. French classes after dark, maybe. An inadequate replacement for yet another trashed Genitourinary Medicine clinic or supervising DIY abortions at home? No.
To summmarise and comprehensively flog an analogy to death; I will not provide, or be a shoe or soul-cleaning apparatus. Wipe your clay feet on me and I will wipe the floor with you.
I will not be dumped on.
I will not clear up your every mess.
I will not be used or abused.
I am a doctor. It takes the best part of twenty years to make a good one of me. And there's a New Year's message the MMC mafiosi might like to ponder as they competently grind Junior Doctors into the dust. I am the ONLY person qualified to define and delimit my remit. I am certainly the person best-placed to decide how this remit could be fulfilled in a resource-limited system.
The rest of you, peasants, politicians and pseudo-managers can piss off(somewhere else) and die.

Love and Kisses,
A Public Servant.

DISCLAIMER : The fact I have been on-call since December the 8th has not in any way coloured my world view. That was Comrade Brown, in the library, with broad sloppy brushstrokes and great big buckets of hogwash.

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