Principles of Medical Ethics Cont.

Sept. 3, 2018

The Labor Day weekend is just about over, although the oppressive heat and humidity is confining me to the few air-conditioned spots in my house. It has been a hot summer; indeed, summers have been progressively hotter on average since I first came to New Hampshire in 1974. Climate change does seem real, doesn’t it?

In today’s blog post I want to continue the discussion of the AMA’s “Principles of Medical Ethics” that I began in my last blog post. The “Principles” are appropriate guides for all of us in our practice of medicine, but they are also good principles for the general function of everyone in work, relationships and even politics. 

Principles of Medical Ethics pertaining to Medicine and Society in 2018

August 15, 2018

I have been on-call this weekend, covering for the group of private practice psychiatrists on the Seacoast. On these weekends of being on-call in particular, I have the time to listen by telephone to the suffering of patients that I will most likely never meet. Their stories are often so compelling and heartbreaking. As I respond to the varied needs of my colleagues’ patients, I am reminded of the principles upon which our profession is based and why we do what we do in our practice of medicine. 

Death Penalty Repeal Part III

July 23, 2018

I last wrote about SB 593, the bill to repeal the death penalty in NH, on March 12, 2018. At that time SB 593 had passed the NH Senate by a vote of 14-10. It then passed the House by a vote of 223 to 116. Governor Sununu had expressed reservations relative to repeal of the death penalty, leading to his expected veto of SB 593 on June 21, 2018. The bill will now be subject to an override vote on September 13, 2018.

Boundary Violations at our Southern Border, Part II

July 3, 2018

In today’s blog post, I return to the plight of migrants in the context of our government’s “zero tolerance” policy. The plight of migrants from the south is the canary in the coal mine of our country’s soul these days.  More than 2000 children are still separated from their parents, many just toddlers or very young children, from a policy of separation without appropriate tracking so that reunification is continuing to be obstructed by an incompetent process. Is this not malpractice of our government towards persons under their care, under their responsibility?  

Report from the AMA Annual Meeting in Chicago

June 17, 2018

I just returned from attending my first AMA Annual Meeting. It was a great experience. Jim Potter, Bill Kassler (our AMA delegate), Georgia Tuttle (AMA Trustee), Stuart Glassman and I were in Chicago representing the Medical Society. 

Boundary Violations at our Southern Border

June 6, 2018

In this blog post my focus is on the horrific boundary violations that are occurring at our country’s southern border (boundary) involving children and their parents. I am so ashamed in general these days of our country policies regarding immigrants, but the more recent revelations of the policy of separating children, even infants, from their parents is just unbelievable. As physicians, let alone as humans, we know what damage this policy will cause to both parents and their children, and yet it is the policy of our government. I am so ashamed.

The concepts of boundary issues and boundary violations are very well known in my profession of psychiatry. Indeed, it is especially important for all physicians, indeed for everyone, to be attentive to boundary issues as we’ve seen in this era of sexual exploitation symbolized by the phrase “me too.” Boundary issues, however, occur in many different forms and at many different locations.

Another horrendous school shooting and no action as usual on gun control

May 23, 2018

Each morning when I drive to work I pass elementary, middle school and high school students walking to their respective schools in Portsmouth. The children are lovely, lively and fortunately safe for another day. They are walking in twos and threes, sometimes with parents for the very young, sometimes carrying basketballs or soccer balls. Not much of a care in their worlds, far from the fear that has enveloped so many schools and communities in our nation.

This latest mass murder, this time in Santa Fe, Texas, has come and gone, with no action expected on gun control, especially in the state of Texas. No action in New Hampshire either. Children (and resource officers and teachers) are the casualties, sacrificial lambs to our gun dominated society.

New England Medical Societies meet in Groton CT

May 8, 2018

On Saturday morning May 4, I had the pleasure of attending, as your president, the Council of New England State Medical Societies (CNESMS) meeting in Groton, CT, followed by the meeting of the AMA New England Delegation (NED).

The CNESMS functions as an organization to bring the six New England medical societies together to present to each other reports of their activities over the last year. In that context, I had the opportunity to present our New Hampshire State Report (well prepared by EVP Jim Potter). 

Responsibilities and Opportunities of the NHMS President

May 2, 2018

Serving as president of your society offers many opportunities far from the usual experiences I have in my medical office, hospital and life in general. One aspect is the responsibility of attending and meeting with the medical societies of our neighboring New England states. Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Medical Society in Boston. This coming weekend, I’ll be attending a meeting of all the New England medical societies in Groton, Connecticut. In early June, I’ll be in Chicago attending the Annual Meeting of the AMA.

Firearm Safety-Where do we at NHMS go from here?

April 18, 2018

At the last NHMS Council meeting on April 11, we discussed the accomplishment of passing the second group of Firearm Safety Policies that were unanimously approved on March 14, 2018. NHMS now has a comprehensive policy to support firearm safety (see my April 11 blog post for the eight specific policy areas covered). However, as we discussed at our last Council meeting, our next step is to develop an action plan to help facilitate the changes (decreases) in gun violence that we hope to accomplish with these policies. We know we can’t do this by ourselves, but can accomplish these goals by working with other organizations who share our goals.

Pages