Doctors are trusted more than professionals in most fields. After graduating from medical school, they often swear a Hippocratic Oath to conduct themselves ethically and honestly. Their white doctor coats hold such prestige that people are able to focus more attentively when wearing one.
In practice, though, doctors are as susceptible to pride and dishonesty as anyone, and the ethics of medicine are more complicated than following an oath. In today’s link roundup, Priceonomics presents three great reads on three controversial doctors.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, dubbed “America’s doctor” by Oprah in 2004, has the showmanship to be a celebrity doctor, but may lack the commitment to the scientific method to be a medical doctor. This long form piece breaks down what happens when marketing meets medicine in the form of a silver-tongued doctor.
Nicknamed Dr. Death, Dr. Jack Kevorkian helped over 130 terminally ill commit suicide to prevent end of life suffering. While many considered him a murderer - and he served 8 years in prison for second degree murder - others laud him as one of the few doctors who truly care. Here is his response to his critics:
"I will debate so-called ethicists. They are not even ethicists. They are propagandists. I will argue with them if they will allow themselves to be strapped to a wheelchair for 72 hours so they can’t move, and they are catheterized and they are placed on the toilet and fed and bathed. Then they can sit in a chair and debate with me."
Dr. Heimlich is well known for inventing the method of thrusting your hands into the gut of someone choking to dislodge whatever is blocking their airway. A praiseworthy invention, but it seems Dr. Heimlich enjoyed the praise (and becoming a household name) too much.
We hope you enjoy these articles. Apologies if they make you think twice about your next doctor’s appointment.