I read your detailed response to Ms. Donna Hamm email dated May 2, 2014, and my heart sank as I looked at your responses. I knew you would defend the agency’s position on private medical care but I didn’t think you would compromise your own ethics while performing your duties as the health administrator for the agency. I had thought you were a better man than that.
I am somewhat frustrated you would take such a bold step when we all know that eventually, in an open courtroom, your words will be challenged as being accurate and truthful. I understand your loyalty to the job but what about your loyalty to your oath? Have you forgotten what it took to make you successful and all the hard work you put into your career to overlook these issues as they are being delivered to your office for action? How you deal with these medical complaints is a direct reflection of your own conscious and your own ethics that will be challenged someday in the courtroom.
What have you forgotten about your code of ethics? Do you expect all medical staff to follow your standards or those standards that certified you and others as competent professionals in charge and care of vulnerable human beings? Are you struggling with a real ethical dilemma because your job demands you stand firm on denying these conditions exist?
What about your personal feelings? Are you telling yourself and others “this too will pass” and conduct your job or responsibilities without feelings? Is there a real ethical dilemma here or are you so biased and prejudice about your “patients” you don’t give a damn anymore?
What about your work core and your support for others to do the job as trained and licensed to perform at the highest standards of care in the world. Do your words strengthened or weaken your work core values and those that you supervise or oversee? Are you moral values being compromised by your Code of Ethics? Are you making a difference in improving the situation or making them worse?
Are you asking yourself?
I am a professional and nobody should second guess my motive, decisions or my skills.
I care for every patient – no matter what they are like or what they have done in committing their crime(s).
What I do in this situation is more important than what they are doing while incarcerated.
I will do what is best for this patient no matter how he or she is acting understanding that one day they may return back to society and the communities where my family, friends and neighbors live.
Certainly, I am confident you know the rules. However, I am worried that the rules have changed under pressure of others that employ you. Who is responsible for the enforcement of these rules? I suspect you are. Are you setting an example for other doctors and nurses to follow in a positive and morally sound manner?
In an intimidating situation like a prison setting it is natural to focus on how you are feeling and a need to escape the discomfort. Ethical practice, though, is to remain patient-centered in the interaction no matter what you are told by the director, by the contractor or by those who drive your incentive to perform at your excellence and how you were trained.
Carl R. ToersBijns, former deputy warden