Rowling and elitists

Ven vendersleighc at
Tue Nov 4 19:36:18 EST 2003

Minnow wrote that

<Charlie wrote:

>Does regretting a necessity mean anything if the
>necessity still exists and is acted upon?
>I'd say so, definitely, in terms of the morality

of the person doing the
>acting (which is what we were discussing). And 
also, perhaps to the person
>being acted upon. Hypothetical example: I need a

tooth extracting. There
>are two dentists available, equally skilled, and

the medical outcome of
>the procedure will be the same in both cases. 
But one of them will do it
>simply because it's medically advisable, the 
other will do it because it
>gives him a sadistic thrill. I know which one 
I'd rather have!

<It has been said (goodness knows whether there
any truth in this at all)
that all really first-rate surgeons need to have 
at least some sadism in
their make-up, or they would be unable to operate


I asked a doctor friend about this recently after
seeing an episode of Holby City* in which a a
young surgeon confessed to always feeling
horrible (I forget exactly what he said) when
making the first incision. His consultant mentor
grandly told him that this was a good thing as
only the most callous and sadistic of surgeons
didn't. My friend agreed that most surgeons were
a bit squicked out, no matter how much they
otherwise enjoyed their work. She reckoned there
was a ratio 20/1 ratio of squeamish to sadists.
She's very good at doctoring (made consulatant in
mid thirties) and I trust her judgement. 

Minniow continued

  <If that
were to be the case, I would prefer to be 
operated on by a sadist who knew
what he was doing, enjoyed his job, was sinfully 
proud of his expertise,
and treated me like dirt when I was conscious, 
than by someone full of
compassion whose distaste for what he had to do 
made his hands tremble and
who would apologise all over the place after I 
regained consciousness (if I
did) and found that he had bungled the job.>

Thats not as very true dichotomy Minnow!
Personally if sadism was the primary motivation I
would't want syuch a person anywhere near my
innards! I wouldn't feel able to trust them to do
the best for me rather than what they would most
enjoy. It reminds me too much of that
gynecologist who was found guilty of malpractice
a couple of years ago. He prided himself on the
speed of his operating especially how swiftly he
could perform a hysterectomy. This led to
carelessness in procedure that left some of his
patients in lifelong pain. The person I would
want to cut me up is the one whose main 
motivation is to solve the problem at hand. I had
one like that when I broke my leg. He clearly
viewed my fracture as an exciting challenge that 
he was looking forward to slicing and pinning, 
but he was aware enough of me the person to say
"Don't worry you will walk again!" when he saw
that I was worried that I wouldn't. And if
someone is a bit squeamish about cutting me open
then they will probably want to put me back
together again properly afterwards.

<To put it another way, I'd rather that people 
carving me up don't have any
reason to express regret.  Let's hear it for an 
elite of medics, not
well-meaning second-rate ones.>

Well naturally............. 

*UK medical soap set in a fictionalised Bristol.
I might be embarrassed to watch this were I not
shameless in my liking for soaps.


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