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Thursday, May 24, 2007

IGNORANCE AND INTOLERANCE

IGNORANCE AND INTOLERANCE

It was a slow day here in Panama and I was hoping to find a subject about which to write. One just came to me so I went to my favorite restaurant across the street from where I am living and sitting on the outdoor patio I write. It really does not get any better than this!

My Blog site has been down because of some technical difficulties occurring while changing my host carrier. I decided to check whether I had any comments logged in from my previous Blogs. Frequently, readers send me comments on something I had written, some agreeing with me, others taking issue with what I have said. Since I have control over what gets published, I usually publish most, if they have something substantive to say whether they agree or disagree. Although it is always flattering to have others agree with you, frequently I enjoy some of those who disagree because they often get me to rethink what I have said.

I particularly respect those individuals who sign their names but I recognize others may just want to send their comments anonymously. But it was a comment I received today which instigated my writing this present Blog on IGNORANCE AND INTOLERANCE. Initially, I thought of ignoring the comment but decided to publish it anyway. And here it is:

Dr. Tauraso for years doesn't know what he is even talking about. He is just a quack who doesn't care about patients but only sucking the money out of people. He practices a questionable practice, giving false advice. He moved to Panama to avoid mal-practice suits. Avoid this questionable doctor at all costs. Anonymous

Whether for years I do not know about which I am talking, was I wrong when in the 1980s I preached the ills of eating trans fats? (Please note anonymous ended his sentence with a preposition; I did not) Everyone thought I was crazy until in the early 1990s Harvard (my Medical School Alma Mater) published a study warning about the ills of consuming trans fats.

Was I wrong when again in the 1980s I was teaching individuals how to meditate to relax rather than use tranquilizers. At that time a doctor in my hometown reported me to the Commission on Medical Discipline. The fact that when the Commission met they all agreed that it was in the longstanding armamentarium of medicine for centuries to employ relaxation techniq1ues. Do you think that the Commission might have been influenced by the presence of an American Civil Liberties lawyer who accompanied me to the meeting that evening?

Concerning moving to Panama, I have NEVER had a malpractice charge made against me. The person making this accusation must be drinking Kool Aid!

Concerning sucking money out of people, I never charged a patient with cancer, unlike all the other physicians in my home town. I remember one day visiting a cancer patient at her home to give dietary advice which might have helped her deal with her illness. I never charged this lady nor others suffering from cancer, but on her fireplace mantel was a check for $50.00 for the doctor who was coming that afternoon to give her a shot of some anti cancer drug. The lady refused to take advice. any dietary advice, but then it was not her who had initially called me for dietary advice. It was her friend.

I stand by what I have done and accomplished during my medical career. There were times, especially when I opened an holistic medical clinic in a community not prepared nor ready for such divergent medical views, when many in the medical community thought that I lost my mind. But being before ones time is not often easy, especially among ones colleagues. But I have frequently taken that proverbial road less traveled by. Sometimes, the road was quite bumpy, but it was never boring!

I have always been a confrontational person, sometimes to my own detriment, but I am ready to defend my views. I remember once when a mother of a patient of mine (I was a Pediatrician) asked what I might have done to a particular person who was saying something against me at a party the weekend before. I told the mother that I did not know the person, had not ever met him and could not understand why he was saying such things about me.

That evening I decided to telephone the man and, after introducing myself, asked him if we had ever met. He replied no. I asked him if what I was told about what he said about me at the party was true. He was honest enough to admit it. I then told him that if we had met and he believed me to be a s** of a b**** then he could speak from first hand experience. But, having never met me, he should have never said such things. Was I shocked when he not only agreed but apologized. Now there was an honest man and I complemented him for it. But, such things must be confronted, if, at least to set the record straight.

I have met many individuals such as the person who wrote the above hateful words without any evidence backing up his accusations.. Although it is none of his business, I moved to Panama because I like the warm weather and the people. Many of my friends wonder how could I move away from the US. Just because they lack the courage to think beyond the US centricity of thinking there is no place like the US, they should not criticize me for doing what I want to do. My real friends, and I have many, understand and are supportive.

I have met many people in my 72 years on Planet Earth, and I thank God that my encounters with ignorant and intolerant, if not also stupid and lacking facts, are rare. The individual who wrote the above words is one of those individuals. He should come to Panama to develop tolerance and perhaps begin to love his fellow man. Perhaps he can avoid HIS enemies here. But he will not, for his enemies are within and will follow him wherever he goes.

Thank you Anonymous.

And now to finish my glass of wine, I remain

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.

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