Heroes By Any Other Name
We have some unsettling news. Brace yourself. Oncologists, who battle the relentless onslaught of death and serious injuries caused by cancer, get paid for doing so. Believe it or not. Of course, this does not make them any less valuable to society. The same may be said for police officers who fight crime or teachers who fight ignorance or chefs who fight hunger. As far as we can tell, the only group of people who do good and get paid for it, only to be villified by society, are plaintiff's personal injury lawyers. Why is that?
Because we allow it. Because we do not fight it. Because we permit others to set the stage. Because we, ourselves, are somehow embarassed when we make money as a result of the injuries of others. We've never met a doctor (and we meet plenty) who apologizes for a patient who is ill or sending a bill for curing them . . . or not. The Hippocratic Oath does not say "Do no harm" and if you do, pay for it. It doesn't mention getting paid at all. It focuses on the doctor's duty to the patient, not the patient's duty to the doctor. In essence, it assumes doctors will be paid for their efforts, unless the doctor decides to forego that fee, which is the doctor's business and not the profession's.