Over the past couple of weeks, I have had two patients passing away from terminal cancers, one of whom survived two previous cancers that I had diagnosed in time. Unfortunately, for this third time, there was no cure. I have two other ones that are in line to go, one with severe COPD, the other metastatic colon cancer. The one with the colon cancer just came to our clinic, and we quickly diagnosed it; but, it's too late now. I feel very sad. It doesn't matter how much I've tried to do for these patients, no matter how long I've practiced, no matter how many times I've sat with patients at their death beds, it has always been sad; I'm never used to this. It's not the sadness for myself or for a failure or lack of success. It's a sadness of knowingly witnessing a precious life being taken away. In these cases, my hands are tied.
There's another kind of sadness that I recently experienced. There's a pharmacist that immigrated from my country who has an independent pharmacy in the same city where my clinic is located. I referred a number of patients to him. He goes to the same church I do. He used to be in the same choir I am in when he first opened his pharmacy.
Anyways, in the past, he often tried to push me in prescribing the ways some of the patients want. After multiple correspondence attempts to let him know that his requests were not right, he practically gay-bashed me with a faxed letter, calling me a faggot, half-man half-woman, etc. What is sad is after I filed a complaint to the NC Board of Pharmacy regarding his practice of pharmacy and his un-professionalism toward gay people, they closed the case, practically saying that he did nothing wrong.
I don't really care about the biggot pharmacist because I know he knows that if he does it again, he'll get a lawsuit. However, in my opinion, the NC Pharmacy Board's courses of action are not right. I wonder what they would have said if he had made some demeaning statements about a Jewish or Black physician?
The question is what I should do next? I contacted the Gay Lesbian Medical Association and was given a contact name. I think this is a good idea. I have thought of writing to the local Medical Association and the NC Board of Medicine; however, I'm not sure if this is a good idea. I've thought of asking internet readers who might support me to write to the NC Pharmacy Board; however, I need advice on this. I've thought of the ACLU; however, I'm not sure they would do any thing. I've also thought of just ignoring it and go on with my life.
But, how can I just ignore it? I can ignore the pharmacist and what he said. However, how can I ignore the NC Pharmacy Board's action? How could a governing body that oversees the conducts of their members ignore such statements as "faggot, half-man half-woman" in the year 2010? How could I ignore this and move on? How could I wait and expect another victim to step up and question the wrong to set the momentum for a path toward the right?
Am I thinking too big? I'm not sure. Am I fooling myself? Maybe. I don't know much about the gay community; but, I do know that there have been courageous people out there who have fought so much for our rights, for what we have now as gay human beings. Maybe, it's my turn to do something.
Tonight, I don't just feel sad for my dying patients. I feel sad for the dying souls of my gay friends. I feel sad for my soul. I feel sad for I don't know if I could do any thing. I want to untie my hands; I don't want to knowingly witness our precious souls and rights being taken away. I need help. And I ask for everyone's help.