Sunday, April 03, 2005

Surgeon's Prayer

I am hardly the most eloquent physician that's ever lived, and I certainly feel inadequate in trying to say something about Pope John Paul II's life and passing. He was, however, the kind of man who always turned his attentions outward, and rather than asking one to offer a prayer for him, would ask that they instead pray for themselves and others. With that in mind, here is the best physician's prayer that I have ever found -- it comes not from a priest or theologian, but from a surgeon who had seen the best and worst that medical care could offer. It clearly speaks to today's physicians, and surgeons in particular:

"A Medical Litany"
From inability to let well alone;
From too much zeal for the new and contempt for what is old;
From putting knowledge before wisdom, science before art and cleverness before common sense;
From treating patients as cases; and
From making the cure of the disease more grievous than the endurance of the same, Good Lord, deliver us.
Sir Robert Hutchinson, 1871-1960
(Consulting Physician to the London Hospital and President of the Royal College of Physicians)