I’m not a huge Twitter user. I find it to be a hostile and distasteful place most of the time and I can easily get sucked into all of the negativity if I’m not careful. And that’s not a good use of my time. However, there’s no question that Twitter is the best place to stay on top of the news headlines. So a few times a day, I log into Twitter and glance at the trending topics.
Well, this afternoon, “The Hippocratic Oath” was trending. This is an interesting thing to be trending in itself, but the reason this oath, which is the one taken by doctors (I’ve pasted it at the bottom of this article), was trending is deeply troubling.
Dr. Oz: “We Need Our Mojo Back”
Dr. Oz was interviewed by Fox News idgit Sean Hannity and said something so troubling, I can hardly wrap my mind around it. Hannity asked Dr. Oz what we can do to get our country back moving again, and Dr. Oz’s response was chilling. And shocking.
“First, we need our mojo back. Let’s start with things that are really critical to the nation, where we think we might be able to open without getting into trouble. I tell you, schools are a very appetizing opportunity.”
“I just saw a nice piece in The Lancet arguing the opening of schools may only cost us 2 to 3%, in terms of total mortality. Any, you know, any life is a life lost, but…To get every child back into a school where they’re safely being educated, being fed, and making the most out of their lives, with the theoretical risk on the backside. It might be a tradeoff some folks would consider.”
Hmmm….a tradeoff some people would consider? Who exactly would consider that? Who is going to volunteer their child or their teacher spouse/mom/daughter/son/dad for sacrifice to the gods of the economy?
Dr. Oz goes on to say that by doing this, we can get industry back and supply lines back. He specifically says, “Things we can do without putting the nation at risk.”
Watch it for yourself.
The Hippocratic Oath – Dr. Oz edition: First, do 2 to 3 % harm. https://t.co/QUDYQDO5XL
— Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) April 16, 2020
How Many People Have to Die?
My husband thinks the good doctor may have been referring to an overall loss of life in the country, not just kids. OK. Either way, these numbers are terrifying.
Let’s go with Dr. Oz’s high end, three percent. The population of the United States is 328.2 million people. If we’re talking about total loss of life in the country, that’s nearly 10 million people. 9,846,000 people, to be precise.
If you’re talking about just kids in school, the National Center for Education Statistics tells me that there are about 56.6 million students in elementary, middle, and high schools across the U.S. Three percent of 56.6 million is 1,698,000.
But did Dr. Oz mean kids AND teachers? Or is my husband correct, and did Dr. Oz mean total life lost across the U.S.? The essential question is this: is Dr. Oz advocating killing 10 million people or only 1,698,000 kids and teachers?
Either way, Dr. Oz is an asshole. Worse than an asshole. Meanwhile, here is the Hippocratic Oath.
I swear by Apollo the physician, and Asclepius, and Hygieia and Panacea and all the gods and goddesses as my witnesses, that, according to my ability and judgement, I will keep this Oath and this contract:
To hold him who taught me this art equally dear to me as my parents, to be a partner in life with him, and to fulfill his needs when required; to look upon his offspring as equals to my own siblings, and to teach them this art, if they shall wish to learn it, without fee or contract; and that by the set rules, lectures, and every other mode of instruction, I will impart a knowledge of the art to my own sons, and those of my teachers, and to students bound by this contract and having sworn this Oath to the law of medicine, but to no others.
I will use those dietary regimens which will benefit my patients according to my greatest ability and judgement, and I will do no harm or injustice to them.
I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.
In purity and according to divine law will I carry out my life and my art.
I will not use the knife, even upon those suffering from stones, but I will leave this to those who are trained in this craft.
Into whatever homes I go, I will enter them for the benefit of the sick, avoiding any voluntary act of impropriety or corruption, including the seduction of women or men, whether they are free men or slaves.
Whatever I see or hear in the lives of my patients, whether in connection with my professional practice or not, which ought not to be spoken of outside, I will keep secret, as considering all such things to be private.
So long as I maintain this Oath faithfully and without corruption, may it be granted to me to partake of life fully and the practice of my art, gaining the respect of all men for all time. However, should I transgress this Oath and violate it, may the opposite be my fate.
Translated by Michael North, National Library of Medicine, 2002.