Posted by: medicblog999 | September 26, 2009

A valuable discussion?

discussion groupI have had a comment on my post about Jacob, one which I initially thought about not publishing, as I felt I may be betraying Jacobs good will in sending me his point of view on things. However, I realised that this could be the opportunity for a bit of a discussion, which I am sure Jacob is more than used too.

If you have already read the post, have another quick look and read the comments from both DavidW and I, then let me know your point of view. All comments will be published unless I find them outwardly offensive to either side.

Lets have a bit of a discussion on this one!



  1. Well, I know it’s been a few days since the furore of my email to Mark, for which I thank him for posting it, and it’s been a few days since the heated debate surrounding it. In the interim I’ve had two religious days, when I don’t use the computer so I’m a little behind.
    Nevertheless, I feel it’s important to address the comments made both by DavidW and others. His initial objection seemed to be to the fact that I wear a kippa (skullcap, yarmulka, whatever else you want to call it). His other objection was that I apparently demand special treatment. Neither is a particularly convincing argument. There are, in every walk of life, people who wear religious items whilst serving the public. Be it Jews with skullcaps, Christians with a crucifix, Sikhs with turbans. Whatever. And I’m not referring just to emergency medicine either. I’d like to ask DW a question. If you went to the bank, where they also wear uniforms, and the teller was wearing a turban, would you wait for a seemingly irreligious to serve you instead? What about street cleaners? They too wear uniforms. Would you not walk the street cleaned by a council worker wearing a crucifix? How far would you take the logic of this argument?
    On the second point, I strongly disagree. I don’t demand any special arrangements. I knew full well when I applied for my job that it would entail working weekends, and that I’d have to make certain sacrifices. I have never, and will never, make demands for people to accommodate my religion. The only things I don’t do on the Sabbath is anything that is not specifically job/call related. So I’ll check my equipment, do the paperwork, clean anything that has become infected. I admit, I won’t check the computer to see if any drug protocol has suddenly changed overnight which is highly unlikely, but there is always someone who would let me know about it. And anyway, there’s Friday and Sunday either side of the Sabbath. Nothing THAT urgent will happen that I won’t know about.
    On the point of “irrational” behaviour: my treatment of patient’s is not led by any religious belief. It’s led by protocols, guidelines, medical evidence. Science treats my patients. Not religion.
    I have almost never (and in 7 years that almost never counts for maybe 3 times) come across a call where the patient’s religion has caused some sort issue with my treating them. In fact, only once has it been the patient who’s objected, and she was drunk. The other twice have been family members. That’s bigotry at its ugliest. I have not come to preach, teach or otherwise convert anyone. I’ve come to do a job. I don’t allow my religion to cloud my judgment, either my medical or my personal judgment.
    Like I said in my original post: I hope you can accept me for who I am, and judge me on my merits as a human being (as well as a paramedic). I promise to return the favour….
    ps – Mark – I’m glad you decided to post the replies. Healthy dialogue is always welcome in my eyes. As long as it remains in the realms of courteous, honest, and inoffensive, I’m always up for a good discussion – even if it is heated.

  2. Jacob

    I felt awkward, but I would go about my duties regardless of whether it was Shabbes or festival. If I had to carry, or do what was essential I would.

    However, when it was my turn, I would make my crewmate a coffee or tea (make fire), but would normally drink a glass to water from my flask.

    Curious I know, and no doubt my up-bringing, but I was only ever there for the patient.

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