Does a Doctor Ask First if the Patient Deserves Treatment?
An interesting question came up in our family the other day…the question of who “deserves” help, or more specifically, why help some people when it will do no good?
My daughter is completing a surgical residency and told us about spending long hours in the Emergency Department (ED) on some tragic cases: a young man left brain-dead as a result of being shot multiple times in a gang shooting, an elderly man who tried to commit suicide by slicing his throat and arms, and a young pregnant girl who was in a horrific car accident because she was not wearing a seatbelt and probably texting.
In the Emergency Department, the medical staff does not withhold treatment because the patient does not “deserve” it or because it was their own fault they were injured. Or even if the treatment will probably do no good because the patient may “go out and do it again.”
However, that this the mindset of people before they render assistance to other types of emergencies.
Who Are You Really Helping When You Decide to Help Others?
One day in a parking lot I was approached by a woman probably in her forties who told me a very sad tale about her plight, how she was homeless and trying to get enough money to stay in a motel, and other issues. I handed her a $20 (which registered surprise on her face), but later learned that all the beggars in this parking area were run by a scam operation and none of their stories were true. How stupid I felt! Then I was angry for being fooled and lied to. I wanted my money to go to someone who “deserved” it and desperately needed it. I wanted to have the good feeling that I helped “save” someone and made a difference in their life.
Suddenly I realized my generosity was more about me than about helping someone else. That’s a hard realization. Recently in our community there has been a great deal of debate over helping a family facing eviction. To all outward appearances, the individuals involved have not been helping themselves which has led to this situation. Help is needed on so many levels, but when one steps back and evaluates the chances whether the individuals’ behavior will change (such as find a job, maintain their property, etc.) and the answer is no, then it is hard to put one’s “time and treasure” into a sinking ship. People start grumbling over what good it will do.
Here again, we have to ask whether the person lending assistance is in a position to judge. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:1-2) That’s a tough one. I don’t have the answers.
Theme of Judgement in JUST GODS: The Eventer’s Revenge
I don’t have the answers. Perhaps others will lend their own experiences and insights and post them in the comments. The topic of judgement (judging others) is of great interest to me lately and is a major theme in the upcoming third book in my Young Adult Maryland Equestrian series, Just Gods: The Eventer’s Revenge. This week I wrote “The End” on the first draft and will be going back to work on edits and get it ready for release hopefully by the summer. The cover is ready and it looks great. Stay tuned for the big cover reveal!