Hypocrites of the Hippocratic Oath

I have seen some members in the health care profession on social media behaving in less than responsible ways in this time of the pandemic and it really makes me angry. While we see many in the health care profession, drained and exhausted, begging people to stay home and be safe so that virus numbers can be reduced, putting out good information on COVID and dedicating themselves to educating the public, there are others that are doing the complete opposite. People in higher level medical positions going from one extreme to the other. On the one hand, posting that they are front line workers who cannot stay home – getting people to feel sorry for them and thanking them for their service. And later in contrast, posting pictures of trips, restaurant visits with their family without masks acting like life is normal. These same professionals have also posted directives to stay home and stay safe during COVID. So what do they really believe? This is a very confusing narrative.

Health care workers have been drained to their core with this pandemic crisis and yet some are acting like they are above the protocols of safety. Are they so far removed from what is really going on that they can just flaunt their expensive lifestyle while others are suffering? It seems irresponsible and irreverent at the very least. They have taken a hippocratic oath to “do no harm” and yet they are out traveling and spending time in restaurants, etc. behaving irresponsibly, possibly spreading COVID to others – and according to their social media posts apparently oblivious to the crisis we are experiencing. It is a complete lack of respect for those in the health care field that are on the front lines, drained and exhausted, who are continuing to stay home and stay safe – and for those in our country and the world that have become sick with COVID and those that have died. It is the responsibility of these medical professionals to lead by example and have some honor and respect for those who cannot afford to stay home – the essential workers and people that need a paycheck to survive – and those in marginalized communities hit most hard by this virus.

In my therapy practice, I have sat with clients whose relatives that have become sick with COVID, listening to their stories and concerns, in tears at times full of anxiety and fear of what might happen. It is offensive to me to watch some in the health care field pretend to be in their own self-absorbed bubble while this terrible crisis continues.

I feel it is our duty as health care professionals to act in moral and ethical ways on and off the job. So many in the medical field are really doing great work with helping and educating people during these really distressing times – walking their talk. It is sad to see there are some bad apples out there behaving in immature and self-centered ways.