18 October, 2005

Can't have too much good news

Because of my recent sojourn in "the" nation's capital, friends ask me what I think will happen in the Valerie Plame case. Of course I have no idea; even Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald could be unsure what he'll do. And no one knows how the case will turn out. Personally, I suspect that whatever indictments are launched, the ultimate outcome will depend a lot on current events over the next year. Courts seem more deferent to executive branch officials during crises; I can easily see events overtaking the case. But in the meantime, we can hope.

Everyone at the top level of the U.S. government has committed countless crimes, from war crimes to perjury before Congress to insider trading. But rarely are they called to task, especially in the one-party town called Washington. What will happen? According to a couple papers in the east today, there's a chance that Cheney could be indicted. A subterranean mammal can dream.

Holy crap. Bill Frist's Senate website calls him "Bill Frist, M.D." both in the title of the page and in a big hospital-blue banner at the top of the page. Even the typeface is supposed to look like a pharmaceutical ad. Now just what kind of doctor is Dr. Frist? He's a hospital administrator -- that is, someone whose paycheck depends on declining treatment, to in the perverted words of the hippocratic oath, "do no harm." Of course, to the informed reader, the "M.D." after his name mostly makes him look like the author of a self-help book.


Of course, to the informed reader, the "M.D." after his name mostly makes him look like the author of a self-help book. 

Ouch! Warn me before you make me laugh like that. I'd like to see him on the cover of something like, "How to go on with your life after you've been kicked out of office."

To be fair, he is an experienced transplant surgeon, not just an administrator. But his fortune comes from the notion that the business of medicine is like any other, and that profitting richly from treating other people's  illness is a better model than merely being recompensed quite handsomely. He might as well be a highly skilled jet mechanic for all the compassion that such an ideaology entails. It's a conception of medicine that is strikingly devoid of the spirit of service--thus it's all the more remarkable how much he capitalizes on the great esteem in which we still hold doctors.

As an anecdote to the Frist brand of cynicism, I offer you the Ziwasimon school of idealistic and affordable medicine.

A subterranean mammal can dream.


Posted by Saheli

antidote! antidote! sorry, I always do that. Thought I guess it's an anecdotal antidote. It's like cauliflower and broccoli or cylinders and colanders.


Posted by Saheli

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