January 14, 2022 • By Dennis Beaver
“Mr. Beaver, we just received a text from our family doctor that is disturbing,” said “Chelsea,” calling me Monday, Dec. 27 from a small Southern town that has one of the lowest rates of COVID vaccination. “I found your column online and just hope you could tell us if what she said is correct.”
As the cell connection was poor, we used Skype, where the entire family got on the call. She read the text:
‘Unless too young or medically advised to not be vaccinated against COVID, obese and unvaccinated patients are no-longer welcome in my office. You may be turned away if you seek admission to our small hospital unless fully vaccinated with a booster as we are now forced to ration available beds. Almost two years ago I warned all of my obese patients of the need to start losing weight at once because obesity is a major factor in death from COVID. Few paid any attention. Many have died.’
“Our Kids look Healthy!”
“We may be overweight,” Mr. Beaver, “but look at the kids! They are all healthy,” Dad said, adding, “Besides, it is a personal decision to get vaccinated that should have nothing to do with hospital admission.”
This was not the first Skype call I’ve had from families in total denial of their obesity, and the statement, “Look at the kids – they are healthy,” is the exact language that physicians — and judges in custody cases — hear constantly. It is sad beyond words, as parents have lost custody by allowing their kids to become morbidly obese.
Were my readers vaccinated? “No. It is our personal choice,” the parents loudly proclaimed.
There was much more to this story as I would learn from their doctor.
An Angry ER Doctor Shares Her Feelings
I reached their physician “Martine,” who wanted me to share the feelings of “so many people in heath-care just burned out by people like this family.”
She explained that “a crisis management plan with patient triage has been put in place, saving our few beds for patients who we can help, not those who have made life decisions that amount to suicide.”
Compassion and Empathy for Those We Can Help
“We are tired of hearing people say it is their right to remain unvaccinated, in spite of all the news stories about how the unvaccinated are taking up beds, die and put others around them in danger. For their own sanity, I am telling our staff that it is ok and not to feel guilty by devoting their compassion and empathy to patients who merit our help. And yes, this may sound cruel to some,” she acknowledged.
“We hear excuses all the time, especially those based on religion, but I spoke with religious leaders at every house of worship within 50 miles and all have urged their congregations to be vaccinated, all of them!
“Also, this is one of the poorest educated parts of our country, and few here are aware that in the American Revolutionary War, George Washington gave soldiers what amounted to a smallpox vaccination – while many British troops died of the disease. There was little talk of not wanting or refusing the inoculations then, or across all the years of mass vaccinations in our country, until now.
“When we have an unvaccinated person show up who we can’t save and a heart attack victim we can, we are not wasting that bed on the person who chose their own death. We have gone from compassion to anger and no longer have the capacity to worry about someone who rejects science.”
I got the feeling from her that she is describing a major shift in concern about patient care. Was I right?
“I and many of my colleagues have reached the point that the only way to protect society is by not caring as we did in the early days of the pandemic, when people got ill through no fault of their own. Now they are voluntarily exposing themselves to a high risk of death by refusing the vaccines, and not just them, but family and friends. It is selfish and cruel beyond any possible justification.”
A Darwinian “Bright” Side
In 1859, the English naturalist Charles Darwin wrote, “On the Origin of Species,” which was his theory that nature selects the strongest and fittest, who survive to pass on their genes to the next generation.
Health-care professionals are seriously asking if we are seeing his theory in real time, today. Martine put it this way:
“Under Darwin’s theory of natural selection, the human race will be a stronger species in the long run, because only intelligent people who take the vaccine will survive.
The others end up in ICUs and die horrible deaths.
“Physicians will do harm if we allow non-vaccinated patients who we can’t help take beds from those we can. We just do not have the ability of treating everyone.”
So, is Martine way off-base with her analysis? Have our health-care professionals lost the ability to care as they once did, suffering from burnout and compassion fatigue? And, isn’t there a moral duty — to each other — to be vaccinated?
“That’s the real question,” Martine said as we ended our interview.
Dennis Beaver practices law in Bakersfield and enjoys hearing from his readers. Contact Dennis Beaver.