Thursday, July 9, 2009

End of Philanthropy

Before you read this, let me start by saying that a) there is probably more to this story than i've read, b) it could be the doctor has a legitimate point, and c) i am extremely biased about issues such as this. I already feel we live in a failing society, where every person seems to be out for themselves at the expense of everyone and anyone else.

The story goes like this: in 2006 a Montreal doctor by the name of Mr Henry Coopersmith (i refuse to use the salutation "Dr"), on his way to Paris for a short vacation with his wife, was asked to attend to a lady having an anxiety attack. He did....took a nap...and was woken up and requested to fill out the proper medical forms.

Sounds like something anyone would do, even if they weren't a doctor, right? Apparently Coopersmith thought much more highly of his practice of billing for service than providing that service with any philanthropic thought. He contacted Air Canada and requested that he be compensated for his medical service with two free executive class tickets, a total of about $3,058.00. Air Canada refused. Coopersmith sued.

The judge in small claims court awarded Coopersmith $1,000.00 for services go on the free tickets though, the judge deemed that request an exaggeration as Coopersmith still made it to Paris.

Now here comes the part where i could be considered a hard-nosed, biased, judgmental bitch. But i expect you to, if you're someone with medical knowledge, to step up to the plate in any situation where you might be needed. If we can't rely on our fellow man to assist us when circumstance requires it, what does that make us? Should you be paid for that service? Let me think about much do you already make as a physican? Are you NOT flying executive class to Paris while the rest of us are crammed back here in seats that have been modified to increase passenger count capacity?

The reality for me is....not all things we do for others are billable as "service". There has to come a time in everyone's life where they do for others simply because they can. As human beings we have a responsibility to ourselves and to each other to assist, to aid, to make life that much better when we can.

I can understand a bottle of wine from Air Canada. A thank you letter. Three columns in all national and international papers extolling your virtues as a thoughtful, considerate, caring doctor. But money? Free airline tickets?

Nope. Mr. are damn lucky your case didn't go to trial and even more lucky that i wouldn't have been sitting on the jury.

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