A Critical Analysis of “The Doctor Won’t See You Now”Kevin Asp02/26/97Essay # 1 Initially, James Gorman appears to be stating that physicians should not beethically obligated to treat each and every “slob” that seeks treatment. Thetitle of the essay, and the sarcastic tone, give evidence that the thesis isquite the contrary. Gorman does identify an alarming trend of physicians lookingthrough a cynical eye with an example of a survey by the American MedicalAssociation, published November, 1991. ” Thirty percent of doctors surveyedsaid they felt no ethical responsibilities to treat AIDS patients” (page 62).
This seems to set the tone of disgust for such physicians. Gorman furthercondemns such physicians by reminding the reader “doctoring is a profession, acalling requiring commitment and integrity” (page 63).
Gorman confirms his argument with the first of many disenchanted views.
Making a comparison that ” old people who are on their way out anyway” (page62) are responsible for rising health care costs.
Gorman then becomes almost offensive when he suggests some AIDS patientsdeserve their predicament and others don’t.
At this point, the reader sees thatGorman is being very sarcastic and bitter towards physicians who mare sharethis view.
In paragraph three, Gorman attempts to make an analogy between otherprofessions and related obligations. In essence, the analogy equates the amountof money and personal taste one may have, with the level of care and/orattention one deserves. The analogy appears to be very inappropriate at first,however, this may be exactly what Gorman is trying to point out, making thereader more sympathetic to the thesis.
Gorman begins to touch on a sound idea of preventative medicine in paragraphfour, page 62, where he writes “… the medical profession is finally beginningto see that patients have a responsibility for their own health”. Thecredibility of the previous statement is destroyed when Gorman goes on to make afalse analogy, comparing doctors with small business, and suggests that theiris no difference between the two fields. Gorman suggest that, like in smallbusiness, doctors should eliminate the “riffraff” in their establishments.
Unfortunately, the definition of riffraff is never revealed.
Gorman goes on further to suggest which diseases or ailments should not betreated without any reason except personal bias. The sarcastic tone is turnedup a notch on the proverbial dial from ten to eleven. Making a hastygeneralization would usually destroy credibility on an issue, but used with thetone and thesis of this essay, it actually supports Gorman’s point.
Gorman specifies carpal tunnel syndrome as a deserved ailment. In the lastsentence of paragraph five, page 63, Gorman writes ” carpal tunnel syndrome inpeople who write a lot of trash about ethics and responsibility”. With thisPost Hoc, Gorman is successful in revealing a hidden truth. Gorman issuggesting that some physicians feel they need not acknowledge ethics andresponsibilities associated with their position. Willfully presenting it withsuch a tone the reader will not and cannot sympathize with the writer. Again,further supporting the thesis.
Towards the end of the essay, Gorman has ruled out so many possiblecandidates for treatment, the physicians themselves will be left with littleclientele. The argument is so ridiculous, it turns full circle and defeatsitself.
In Gorman’s conclusion it is self evident what’s being said is that medicineis not just a business and cannot be treated as if it were. It is much morethan nine to five and making a buck. Unfortunately some physicians may haveforgotten this for the moment. Stockbrokers are not required to take aHippocratic Oath, and are therefore not bound to the same ethicalresponsibilities as physicians.
The essay did not follow a classical structure, but was none the lesseffective. Rhetorical comments and questions were abundant, and the conclusionwas cleverly used as a concession. Who needs structure in an essay. Really. Howdumb can you get?Category: Philosophy
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