It’s not about the money, money, money
We don’t need your money, money, money
We just want to make the world dance
Forget about the price tag…

Jessie J

I’ll bet most of you recognise those lyrics from “Price Tag” by Jessie J. That song is pretty popular these days although I’m not sure how many of us take the sentiment seriously.   Now let’s try something a little bit harder; see if you can identify where the following lines come from:

“I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick…
“I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings – those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.”

That’s the second half of the modern version of the Hippocratic Oath, the pledge doctors take to serve their patients, their patients’ families as well as society as a whole.  It’s widely recognised as the moral guideline for the profession. I looked it up recently to check if it includes anything about refusing to treat patients until you get more money from the government.

Not too surprisingly, it doesn’t.  Oh well, I guess the doctors who have decided to go out on strike don’t take the oath very seriously either.
I realise I’m on dangerous ground here since many (most?) government doctors and other medical professionals are highly skilled and their jobs do seem a bit more important than most (all?) of the politicians who determine their wages; but the idea of doctors refusing to save lives and ease suffering really pisses me off.

Two years ago my wife was being treated for cancer so I can imagine how I would have felt, and very probably reacted, if any of the people involved in her care had left their posts to join the picket lines.  It would not have been pretty; I mean this is the way blood feuds get started.
I think I may be too close to this one to say much more so I’m going to move on to the striking teachers now.

First of all I’d like to make it clear that I’m a big fan of teachers, I think educating kids is a great thing for someone to do with her or his life and I would truly love to see teachers around the world paid salaries that reflect how important I believe their profession to be.

I also believe, however, that teachers have an added responsibility to behave well outside the classrooms because, like it or not, they are roll models for our children and students learn a lot more from their teachers than just the subjects that are taught in class.  What is the message behind refusing to teach until you get more money?

I guess the big question for our teachers is are they doing what they do to make the world dance and to help their students go out and make the world dance, or are they just in it for the money, money, money?
The question for the rest of us is why do we do whatever it is we do?

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