Sunday 30 June 2013

Justifiable trauma

Many of my patients happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Like the fine young gentleman covered in gang tattoos who was surely walking home from his shift volunteering at a soup kitchen who just happened to find himself in the crossfire of a shootout over drugs, which he has of course never touched in his life but somehow ended up in his tox screen, much to his utter astonishment.  Many others bring trauma on themselves (by driving drunk, getting into a fistfight with a mixed martial artist, etc).  But regardless of how stupid someone has been, I've always found it difficult to say that anyone truly deserved the injuries they got.

Until this guy came in.

At 1AM my pager told me that an assault victim would be coming in five minutes.  I immediately started thinking of the type of person who is liable to get beaten at that time of night.  When you get assaulted in the middle of the night, you're either on the wrong end of a robbery or doing something really stupid.  So I was assuming the victim must be a cashier at a convenience store.

Not this guy.

When he hit the door, it looked as if his face had been used as a punching bag.  Both eyes were black and blue and swollen shut, he had lacerations on his ear and forehead, and blood coming from his nose.  And he had some very nice steel bracelets (read: handcuffs).   Often when I get an assault victim in police custody, it's the police who have done the assaulting.

Not this guy.

As I was examining him, one of the nurses made the mistake of asking exactly what happened.  He explained that some guy beat the hell out of him just because he had caught him naked in bed with his son.  

"So what?  It's 2013!" you're thinking. 

You didn't let me finish. He caught him in bed with his 6-year old son. 


"But they can't prove anything," he said with a creepy smile. 

I froze, barely able to believe what I had just heard.  My bedside manner instantly vanished, and I may have been a bit more rude and abrupt than my usual.  Fortunately he had no serious injuries (by which I mean "unfortunately, the father hadn't beaten the shit out of the guy enough"), and I gave him right back to the police after stitching him up.  

I can't imagine the guy even making it to the hospital if I had caught him with my son.  Most people don't deserve their injuries, but this guy earned every bit of his.  And more.


  1. I wish torture was a legal sentence.

    1. A prison sentence seems like a fair punishment. He molested a kid, hopefully he'll be raped in prison. An eye for an eye, a rape for a rape?

    2. What goes around comes around. I hope this sick and twisted pathetic excuse of a human being gets what's coming his way when he drops his bar of soap!

  2. Lots of people asking for the guy to be raped... This is NOT ok. Sure he's a colossal asshole and trash by human standards, does that mean that you have to do the same? Fuck no.
    Lead by example.

    1. You are right, he shouldn't be raped. He should be put to death. Lead by example? No problem- ZERO TOLERANCE.

    2. I must disagree. I think the fairest punishment fits the crime. The best way to learn how bad what you did was us to experience it yourself. Your punishment shouldn't be worse than your crime, because revenge is not justice. But we don't want to let these perverts off easy. So I think the fairest punishment IS the crime.

    3. Asking for and hoping for something to happen are two completely different things.

      And hoping for him to get what he deserves NOTHING compared to RAPING an innocent 6 year old!

    4. So you're basically all monsters. I don't buy the "punishement fits the crime" bullshit, what gives you the right to judge on these people if you're going to do exactly the same to him?
      I'm not trying to defend him, I'm trying to show you how ridiculous and monstrous you are all sounding right now. Wishing someone to be raped.... you're the ones who should be put down.

    5. Monsters? You really think so? The difference here is that he's an adult who preyed on an innocent child who was completely unable to defend himself. You want to talk monstrous? THAT'S monstrous. It's a crime worse than murder. This child will be affected by this for the rest of his life.

    6. Did I ever say otherwise? No, that person sickens me. Does that give anyone the right to be just as cruel and sick as him? Not really.
      I'll say it again, I'm not defending that man, and agree that what he did is far worse than any of use probably ever did.

    7. Nicko, by your standards, hoping and doing seem to be the same thing so are you not monstrous for suggesting that we be put down?

      I'm not trying to offend you, I'm trying to show you how ridiculous and illogical you sound right now. You don't buy the punishment fits the crime "bullshit" so I guess if a criminal commits an extremely taboo crime against one of your INNOCENT and DEFENSELESS family members, you'd be ok with him getting a few years of probation or something...

    8. You don't believe that the punishment should be equal to the crime? Even if he gets raped, that wouldn't be as bad as what happened to the kid. That pervert might even WANT to get raped.

    9. @skyguy Revenge isnt justice and it CERTAINLY won't accomplish anything.
      "An eye for an eye will be leaving the world blind" - Gandhi

      Hey, perhaps that rapist was abused as a child; perhaps he too was raped leading to what he did, but since the american ( and worldwide) justice system only focuses on the judged criminals, he never got help and it led to what he did?

      You don't know his story either. I just see a fucked up man who needs help and a scarred kid who will be needing years of therapy, none of which the justice system will ever be able to provide or help with.


    11. FWIW... two cents...

      DocBastard being chilled to the bone when he realised what happened, the perpetrator right in front of him, is one thing. People coldly advocating vigilantism and making their own justice is another, and it's far, far scarier.

      Surely the law and the justice system exist for a reason. If they don't work, then the solution is not to take the law into your own hands, but rather to fix what needs fixing. The man committed a crime, a heinous crime, and showed no remorse for it. Surely there is a system in place for protecting future victims and for punishing him. If there isn't, then it would be a MUCH better use of our time to come up with one (one that doesn't catch innocent people in the crossfire, which seems to inevitably happen when emotions are high and mobs take over).

      Basically, I just wish people would not say stuff like "Slice off his penis!" and "I'd have put him 6 feet under!" so lightly - and then saying "that's what he deserves!", rewriting justice with their hands and fists and teeth. It may well be, but it's not our call, and really, if you'd ENJOY cutting off his penis, then think about that for a while and how that fits in with your image of yourself. If you'd rather just give the order and someone ELSE cuts off his penis, again, what does that say about you?

      I'm really not concerned with the pedophile, let me make it clear. I am VERY concerned with our humanity, which we may be relinquishing when we make instant, critical, violent judgements like this. The criminal has to pay, sure enough; but to we have to actively call for his blood?

      3am, I should stop writing now. I think I've written all this because I kept trying to convince myself that calling for blood is not human nature. It is, unfortunately. But, I like to hope we can be better than that. It's the same mechanism that makes us "experts" on any given field after a 10 second Google, and gives us strong opinions which we share with other people with the same strong (often wrong) opinions. It can get really scary. It can only lead to hatred, anger, violence - so how has it made the world any better?

      3.08am. Must... wrest... myself... from... comp

  3. Doc, couldn't you have found, say, a rapidly progressing kind of testicle cancer that justifies instant removal of both testicles, and then slip with your blade enough to cut his penis off too while you are at it? I know it might be the end of your career, but who could seriously blame you (besides that walking, talking turd disguised as a human being of course)?

  4. That sick asshole wouldn't have made it to the hospital. He would have been 6 feet under.

  5. I love you Doc! I WILL find you someday!


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