Saturday, October 4, 2008

"I have a dream..."

"I have a dream... that the ER will be full..." uttered Dr. Bailey. And Dr. Cristina seconded. This was part of the opening scene in the season 5 premier of Grey's Anatomy.

Of course, the doctors were alluding to Martin Luther King's famous visionary speech in Washinton. King's dream was about social unity, equality, reconciliation - in essence a vision towards a better community. On the otherhand, Dr. Bailey's vision involves an emergency room filled with trauma patients - probably from road accidents, assault, and any other traumatic incidents that one can imagine. Why this dream? Doctors like Bailey and Cristina, at least those who wants to further their careers, dream of being able to practice their craft of healing and one can only practice it if there are patients to attend to. I have to say, most "normal" doctors do think this way - to have more patients to attend to. For whatever reasons these doctors can think of - more patients, more income; or more patients, more oppurtunity to improve skill; more patients, more able to help people, they all hope that they will have more patients. Is there something good about this? Or is it all bad? Is a doctor wanting more patients for herself equal to wanting more sick people? Now, the idealist intern might probably will think otherwise, because more patients just mean more work to do. Either the intern is lazy or very hopeful that no more bad things will happen to other people, their thought is far from the reality of the "normal" doctors. What am I trying to say here? The sad reality that most doctors today look at the patients as no more than objects of their crafts and less as humans. Worst, doctors may just see the trauma, the illness, separate from the person. Even worst, patients may just be mere charts. But for a Christian physician, its all different.

Christianity teaches us that humans are the image of God and therefore we should treat all humans - ALL, as sacredly as we can. Not because humans have life but because of the fact that they are humans (and not animals) and made them "just a little lower than angels (Psalms 8:5)."

Now, is it proper for doctors then to dream of people to get sick? Or does the doctor not necessarily hopes that more people will meet accidents but rather hopes that whoever meets an accident may come into her care? This is why a Christian docotr can resonate King's words. Because she knows she is a Christian and she knows that God will use her to be God's vessel of healing. And so she hopes that these trauma patients and their families who are hurting and broken may encounter God's reconciling love through her. And so the Christian doctor prays, "I have a dream..."