Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Dr. Rashed or Dr. Mengele?

As posted on Debbie Schlussel's blog and elsewhere, seems that one Ahmed Rashed, MD, got off with a very ridiculously light sentence for severing the hand of a cadaver and giving the severed hand to an acquaintance, who used it for purposes of personal or egoistical gratification. Dr. Rashed is now doing a residency at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, and his guilty plea bargain will not prevent him from seeking medical licensure in the state of New Jersey.

I am appalled at this matter for all of the obvious reasons everyone else is appalled at this matter. My comments, in no particular order:

1. One sidebar to Gidone Busch's killing by the NYPD is that Dr. Ivan Oransky, a psychiatric resident at New York-Presbyterian Medical Center, unlawfully accessed Gidone's medical records and leaked them to the New York Times, which featured a sidebar article about Gidone's psychiatric history. NY Presby booted Oransky from its residency program.

2. Relevant quotation from the late Justice Michael A. Musmanno:

"Today no cemetery is without tombstones, no grave remains unmarked. Even in holocausts resulting from conflagration, explosion, earthquake or flood, where identification of individual bodies must sadly fail, a general monument is raised to the common dead. Over every military grave the Cross or the Star of David blesses the named martyr beneath. And where large numbers are interred in a common grave because an exploding shell commingled the remains beyond separation, a cenotaph rises to honor the Unknown Dead.

It is unthinkable today that anyone should be consigned to the earth without a shaft, big or small, naming him who has departed forever from his mourning kin and friends. Those who have no respect for the dead can have but little appreciation of the dignity of man, either living or dead."

Kotal v. Goldberg, 375 Pa. 397, 404-05, 100 A.2d 630, 634 (Pa. 1953) (Musmanno, J.).

The case before Judge Musmanno involved the question of whether the cost of a tombstone was allowable as damages in a wrongful death action. But if a decedent is to be given the respect of a monument or marker, then the desecration and mutilation of a decedent's body must, a fortiori, be condemned by the law.

3. Along similar lines, the writings of Maimonides himself are replete with passages requiring respect for the deceased.

4. For many years, the medical profession has been whining about how the lawyers are driving up the cost of health care with the medical malpractice suits. It must be remembered that injured patients may or may not sue their doctors, but angry patients will almost always sue the doctors who slight them. For too many years, the medical profession has allowed itself to develop a severely exaggerated attitude towards their self-worth, and has passed on this arrogant attitude to its new inductees. If the medical profession continues to bring into its camp individuals who have no respect for or understanding of the dignity human life, they can expect the lawsuits to continue.

[Disclosure: My wife is a physician. In order to preserve my marriage, I DO NOT take on med mal cases.]

5. I am not telling the various state licensing boards how to dispose of Dr. Rashed's inevitable upcoming applications for licensure. But his conduct in this case is relevant to his fitness to practice medicine, and, when he applies for licensure, he should be called upon to explain why he is fit to practice medicine, in light of the misdeed to which he has pleaded guilty.

6. Hasn't the medical profession learned from its experience with Dr. Mengele?


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