First, in the matter of Crowley and Crowley vs. Gottlieb, the trial is scheduled to start March 17 at 8:30 a.m. in Kent County, Michigan. “There are specific allegations for Count 1 – Medical Malpractice; Count 2 – Ordinary Negligence of Richard Gottlieb; Count 3 – Therapeutic Services, P.C. – Vicarious Liability/Respondeat Superior/Agency; Count 4 – Loss of Consortium.”
In short, clinical social worker and psychotherapist Richard Gottlieb is charged with sexually abusing Mrs.Crowley during counseling sessions while seeing Mr. Crowley in separate counseling sessions. There are reportedly about twenty women who have been victims of Gottlieb’s sexual abuse over a period of years. I have agreed to testify for the Crowley’s but do not expect to be called.
Second, in this year I have come to believe that some small percentage of cases of depression are solely caused by medical/physical issues, e.g., chronic hyperglycemia, chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis. I had previously held the position that all depression was social depression triggered by the perception of powerlessness. I now know that most of depression is, but not all of it.
Third, after having spent eight months in hospitals and nursing homes, it is my observation that the American medical industry exists without God. God’s faithful are mostly working as aides, with some nurses also to be counted among the faithful. Most physicians are not. The chief medical officer of Crouse Hospital, when I spoke of God, gave a polite sneer and said, “If you believe in that kind of thing.”
I had two hospitalists: one self-identified as an atheist and didn’t believe in the mystery or anything that couldn’t be reported on laboratory test results. The other was an Egyptian Coptic Christian (kinda-sorta Catholic) who worshipped God. Likewise, the most devout physician I have met in my entire life also was an Egyptian Coptic Christian. What’s up with that? The other faithful physician I met this year was an American Jewish man.
Among the other dozens of physicians with whom I have spoken this year, most acknowledge that they believe in something greater than themselves but they cannot make any statement of faith or recite any personal creed. As far as I can tell, the majority of physicians simply don’t pay any attention to their spiritual life. This is best summed up by the physician who said, “My wife takes care of our spiritual life—she’s Catholic.”
And why is it that the aides are believers and the physicians aren’t? I used to ride the short bus that stopped at a day program and picked up about eight people who were developmentally disabled. They were kind people. If one person had an after-program snack then he would bring snacks for everyone. They were aware of one another’s distress and would offer comfort. They did not swear. In short, they were model Christians and I came to think of them as residents of the Garden of Eden before the fall.
And what caused the fall from grace? Adam and Eve’s decision that they knew enough that they could disobey God’s directive not to eat of the forbidden fruit. The people on the short bus were innocent of ego problems. They did not think that they were important or powerful or in charge of anything. Contrariwise, consider the average physician. Or, as one physician put it, “In medical school I was taught that God makes mistakes and it’s my job to correct them.”
Arrogance is the greatest sin against God. How many humble physicians have you met? In an instant, I can name three psychologists who are grounded in faith and active participants in religious communities. Psychologists and physicians are equally intelligent but psychologists are not schooled in arrogance. Physicians cannot get out of the way of their own egos in order to see anything greater than themselves.
How many hospitals do you think are run by people of faith? What do you think would happen if hospital presidents stopped serving Caesar and started serving God? The CMO of Crouse told me that keeping me in an isolation room was “medically appropriate,” i.e., Caesar and the NYS Dept. of Health would validate him and back him up right down the line. And when I asked of emotional health, the CMO changed the subject.
God is love. Hospitals are about the physical body, without reference to the emotions, mind or spirit. The greatest Godlessness to be found in this country is in hospitals and the American medical industry. Most of American medicine is about financial profit. That is antithetical to love.
Fourth, in this Year of the Beast of the American medical industry, God and I ceased to communicate. For four months, that was because I ingested oxycodone on a daily basis. Any drugs—specifically including psychotropics—that interfere with messages to the brain also disrupt the God-patient connection. I have seen it many times in myself and others in hospital. God cannot get through the gunk.
Other reasons that I did not connect with God: possibly hyperglycemia is as disruptive of God connections as are psychotropics. One of the functions of faith communities is to support and carry congregants who are so sick that they cannot feel God’s love. In hospitals and nursing homes, you are excluded from the faith community.
At Iroquois Nursing Home, the chaplain and I met and liked each other. When she came back for a pastoral visit, she found me angry. Instead of staying with me for comfort or counseling, she ran to the head nurse and reported my angry behavior. The pastor did not work for God; she had aligned herself with Caesar, which is despicable.
I am at home now. God is, and I am loved.