Letters To ‘Surfers: Yeah, they saved his life, but removed his arms and his legs…


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Editor’s Note:

Was just going through some mail and stuff- and saw a few comments that I thought were interesting and would like to share.



Various thoughts on or “About Circuit Surfers”


From Kasab Dec 8, 2:44 am

Pardon I was remiss in my first post. I meant to start with Dude, good story, good idea.

Now I have lokeod over a few replies and I want to offer another view; It happens I (italic, underlined) DO judge the worthiness of lives. I don’t get all emotional about it; the judgment certainly doesn’t affect my work, and has nothing to do with race, religion, national origin, political positions, ethnic persuasion, etc. I also admit it has little to do with my primary role as perfusionist, i.e., operations during open heart procedures. It is the trauma, man, that torques me up, bunches my drawers, incites my tendency toward holding people responsible.

This is paradoxical and personal, I again admit, because I look at the Sandusky affair, for example, with a very jaundiced eye. Now, I have no connection to Penn State and could hardly care less about college football. All it is is a free farm system for the NFL and a way for people to waste time, idolizing players they don’t know and probably won’t ever meet. I do support the innocent until proven guilty’ idea see U.S. Constitution), and as far as I can tell no one has to yet be indited, much less tried, not to mentioned be found guilty. So it is vigilantism mob violence -that got Paterno and the President of the college fired and others in trouble. All because of the testimony of an eyewitness’ (google Invisible Gorilla for how reliable they are) who, assuming his allegations are accurate and true, DID NOTHING TO STOP the assault, which makes him the grossest player in the field, worse than Sandusky, who at least probably (if guilty) is one sick dude.Which, Dude, brings me back to my own failings.

I don’t have any judge, jury or convictions in my back pocket when I hit the OR at 3 a.m. or any other time to do a cell saver for a gunshot wound, or a stabbing, or abdominal exploration to find what was wrecked in the motorcycle accident and while we work down below the neuro guy works up top, because fatso not only could not handle his bike, he could not bother putting on a helmet. I go on hearsay provided by police via trauma docs.And while I have great sympathy for the suicidal people on this earth, I don’t much care for the inept ones who botch the attempt, again usually at 3 a.m.

As I have pointed out often, I took exception to the bragging of some residents many years ago after they saved the life of a guy who threw himself under the Broad Street subway. Yeah, they saved his life, but removed his arms and his legs. NOW he really has something to be depressed about, and can’t DO anything. No second chance for him. Who are we to judge suicides? It is their life and if they want to toss it, who are we to say No?’

Over the years I have given a lot of time and money to help abate gang violence, counsel the suicidal, get helmet laws passed and make riding education available. But I don’t have much in the way of sympathy for the Knife and Gun Club members (at least they could use frangible bullets, or hollow points, which would get the job done right and have a much smaller chance of taking out kids in the street) or obese people with heart disease who sneak cigarettes in the hospital bathroom, etc.

The trouble we bring to our own door step belongs to us. I am not shedding tears, wasting warm emotions and I wish I wasn’t paying money to save’ them from themselves. Even if the jury is still out. (BTW, our insane War on Drugs lends a profit motive ( .Pursuit of life, liberty and happiness ..) to the violence, and pays for stuff that wounds our soldiers, whose medical bills we clearly have responsibility for, recent Congressional suggestions notwithstanding.)

I trained at Deborah Heart and Lung Center, where care used to be free, and where kids from around the world were routinely brought for surgery. Those congenital victims deserve all the help they can get, and those who contribute are real heroes. The ones who earn their misery did just that.