Agraphia Medical Tragicomedy


Dear Huck:

Suggesting in class that we withhold all AIDS treatment from Africa so that HIV-infected people will "die faster and have less of a chance to spread the disease" is about the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. I know you're ultra-right-wing and all, and I think it's cute that you feel that way, but supposedly you're in med school to help people. Not to try to kill them faster.


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  1. yeah….thinking the same thing….check out my blog….

  2. post a link!

  3. on a happier note…. no one suggested that we round everyone up and put them into HIV/AIDS concentration camps……

  4. Dear Zacarius,
    You should know by now that you cannot force everyone to have any feelings or compassion for their fellow man, even among our fellow medstudents. It is people like Huck and the others in the class that voiced opinions like his that feel the way they do about these issues, yet refuse to actually educate themselves about it. GO ahead, sit there on your moral high horse and impose your moronic, selfish ideology on the rest of the world, like happening to be born in the United States somehow entitles you to all of the anti-retrovirals and life-extending medications that your heart (that as far as I can tell is more than 3 sizes too small) desires. Man, touchy subject!! I should stop.

  5. My suggestion (which was not voiced in class) was that we find two fertile people, one male and one female, who definitely do not have HIV and put them in a protected bunker. Then you just nuke the rest of the world. Problem solved! No more HIV!

    Of course I’d nominate myself and Legal Counsel as the two people, but it’s really the luck of the draw. Or maybe myself and D-Rock…

    Some people might say that my solution is a little extreme, but those people would be outside the bunker so I couldn’t hear them.

    PS – I’ve already got a bunker. I built it to protect against zombies, but I’m sure I can fix it up.

  6. I found a number of the comments in that session rather apalling. That said, the problem, as far as I can see, is really a failure of governments, ours, theirs, and the UN. And I’m not sure what, even as doctors, we can do to influence that.

    Once upon a time, physicians did have a degree of politcal influence, but it seems like it has evaporated in the face of insurance companies, drug companies, and so on.

  7. Let’s not even get me started on how I felt about some of the comments in that session (

    I would argue that the erosion of the physician’s influence in the political spectrum has more to do with the inferiority complex that physicians have developed than it does with evil corporations. We have allowed ourselves to be marginalized. I think the current situation is the way it is exactly because physicians stand around and speculate as to why they don’t have influence anymore (rather than developing and exerting influence).

    I also think that this has to do with physicians becoming apologetic for who we are and afraid to be proud of the fact that we are experts and leaders in our field (I have heard many a classmate say that they don’t tell people they are in medical school — but rather say that they are a “grad student” — because they think that telling people what they are doing is somehow too vane).

    This is not to say that I believe that medical students and physicians should re-invent the past (that sort of behavior is not my political cup of tea), but rather that it is up to the profession to stand up for what we believe in and develop/utilize our expertise to change what needs to be changed (e.g. international health disparities, DOMESTIC health disparities).

    If medical students and physicians believe that the UN and our government is not doing the right thing, then it is incumbent upon us to make that known and to do so as experts in human health.

    Just a thought.

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