Sunday, April 7, 2013
Inquisition, Part Two
(I recently posted an article called “Inquisition.” Below is a partial transcript of the secret proceedings, smuggled out by a sympathetic spy.)
Grand Inquisitor: You have blasphemed the holy god of SCIP, committed heresy against the society of the ACP and you must repent. Will you denounce your heresy?
Me (facing my accusers, who are attired in the traditional garb of the inquisitor which is the ceremonial white coat and the holy stethoscope draped around the neck. The Grand Inquisitor can be distinguished by his three headed stethoscope): Your Eminence, I know not of what you speak. I have only been led by my conscience and what I deemed to be excellent surgical judgment.
Grand Inquisitor: There, you have all heard it for yourselves, esteemed members of the Inquisition. He freely admits his heresy. He has stated, and let the record reflect this, that he allowed surgical judgment to enter into his thought processes. Do we need any more testimony?
Me: Your Grace, I beg your pardon. But if we are not to employ judgment, then how are we to care for our patients?
Inquisitor: The great god of SCIP has placed our path before us. He has given us the holy Protocols and will lead us to Medical Paradise. So it is written and so it will come to pass.
Grand Inquisitor: Yes, Yes, We shall worship at the altar of SCIP and so be greatly enriched.
Me: But what if SCIP is wrong?
Grand Inquisitor (crossing himself and then standing):Blasphemy, blasphemy, I will not listen to such heresy. The holy scripture of ACP is clear and precise. There can be no variance: “Lovenox will be given! Lovenox will be given! exception will not and cannot be tolerated!”
Me: But, Your Emptiness, I have not had a DVT in a patient for more than three years, and I have performed some extremely complex surgery. Surely my record has some value?
Inquisitor: “You are playing dangerous game, Doctor, careening down a path of destruction and you will surely crash and burn. If, however, you repent of this evil, join the holy order of SCIP, worship at our altar, let us lead you out of the fog you are mired, then we will all be enriched beyond our wildest dreams.
All the Inquisitors together: Blessed is the Holy SCIP, Blessed is the Holy SCIP, Blessed is the Holy SCIP!!!
Me: Unless this very “learned” panel can offer me solid evidence that the protocols are of great value and can actually improve my patient outcomes, I cannot, in good conscience, recant. I will not put my patients at risk. I cannot practice in a way I consider dangerous.
Grand Inquisitor: Blasphemy, Blasphemy. You, members of this august council, have heard his blasphemy with your own ears. But, for we shall offer mercy. You. Blasphemer, I ask you one more time: “Will you place your hand on the holy scripture of the ACP, will you recant of your heretical ways, will you faithfully and blindly give your patients the sacred and blessed Lovenox?”
Me: In all good conscience, I cannot.
Grand Inquisitor, standing, tearing his garments: You have all heard it. There can be no other verdict but guilty of all charges. Punishment must be immediate and swift. We are all in agreement?
The Inquisition remained silent.
Grand Inquisitor: There being no dissension, we will proceed with the punishment.
Shouts and whoops rang out. A large, hairy, hooded man entered the room, carrying a large ax.
Grand Inquisitor: You will go with the Executioner and may the great god SCIP have mercy on your soul.
And I was led away…