Sunday, October 18, 2015

Caught in the Middle of a War and my Profession

I have several Arab/Palestinian patients, though they don't come in for treatment on a regular basis.

During this time in Israel where any Arab could potentially pull a knife on any Jew, anywhere in Israel,  I had not thought about the implications on my work, until this morning.  A Palestinian patient of mine who works for the United Nations called and said that he needed an emergency appointment.

I know him.  I have treated him over the years, and in the sense that I am mostly a good judge of character, he has in the past not seemed like the kind of person who would stab his Jewish doctor.

(NOTE:  Most of the Palestinians who have been actively involved in terror attacks have come from East Jerusalem, they are Israeli-Arabs with a fair amount of wealth and are gainfully employed, fully enjoying the benefits the Israeli life has to offer.)

On the other hand, when I am taking all sorts of precautions in my life, and in the life of my daughter, a part of me went into a panic when he asked to schedule.  I have sworn an oath as a doctor to help all humans, regardless of race, religion or color.  But what good am I to anyone, especially my own child, if I let this person into the office and he ends up hurting me, or killing me?


koshergourmetmart said...

you have every right to be worried and nervous and hesitant about treating people whose leadership says they should stab. however, the attacks that have occurred are when a Palestinian stabbed a total stranger on the street. This patient has a real relationship with you and sees you as a person and has a relationship with you and does not see you in a dehumanizing way.

Doc said...

Without discounting anyone's thoughtful opinions, unless you live in Israel and in Jerusalem right now, I think you would find it hard to understand how much fear comes into play on an hourly basis. It would be wonderful to believe in the best nature of all human beings, but these days it is not a given.
That being said, I did decide to say yes and treat this client, because I felt that I knew him well enough to trust him.