It is as important to hold each other – in our case, Latinos – accountable for our misdeeds as it is to praise and call attention to each others’ great accomplishments. We should promote our best with great pride and should hold each other accountable for actions that may affect our reputation as a whole. Case in point, a series of tasteless photos of Puerto Rican Doctors and Dominican military personnel having a little bit too much fun in the aftermath of Haiti’s January 12, 2010 horrific 7.0 earthquake. While the whole world, including Being Latino, has come to the aid of earthquake’s victims with fundraising efforts big and small and calling attention to Haiti’s plight, a handful of Latino doctors sworn to the ethical treatment of the injured and infirm were publishing disrespectful photograph that mocked the very people whose care they are responsible for.
As documented in books like Dissection: Photographs of a Rite of Passage in American Medicine 1880-1930, black humor is nothing new in medical schools and, as illustrated by the photos making their way around the internet, this brand of humor doesn’t stop the moment a doctor takes the Hippocratic Oath. Even in the military, the dignified and respectful treatment and transport of cadavers and recognizable human body parts is something that is to be done respectfully, and in compliance with legal, public health, and ethical standards.
I read a comment where someone said the photos were no big deal because the doctors in question had just gotten done treating 70 injured. No big deal? Really? The world is going to judge those visual on their own merit, not the good deeds that preceded or followed them. The perpetrators are Latinos like me and, as if that wasn’t enough to consider, what if the cadavers were those of your loved ones? Would it matter then?
by Alina de Varona
For more by Alina de Varona visit www.alideva.com.