August 6, 2012

"At the end of the day, the biggest impact you can make in anything is through kids."

Said the children's surgeon, who died yesterday in Lake Michigan, saving children.

23 comments:

traditionalguy said...

A true hero. The Chinese Doctor's that I know are all that way. Very good men who honor women and children.

wyo sis said...

What a shame. It's an even greater loss in light of the lives he could have changed.

Ann Althouse said...

"It's an even greater loss in light of the lives he could have changed."

Yes, but there's no way he could have thought: If I try to save these 2 children, I might drown, and as a result many more children might die, therefore it's best for children for me to preserve myself and allow these boys to struggle for their own survival without my assistance.

rhhardin said...

You can discover a theorem, or an algorithm that's unusually efficient.

Take the fast Fourier transform.

That spreads wealth across the world in huge quantities.

MarkW said...

It's really sad--a number of people drown every year in rip-currents in Lake Michigan because they don't know what to do. And the writing in this article certainly didn't help. How hard is it for a journalist to spend 3 minutes reading 'rip current' wiki page!?

There is no 'undertow' that 'pulls you down'. Rip currents are narrow currents heading away from the beach -- that's all. To get out of a rip current (which are never very wide), you swim sideways (parallel to the beach). Sad. And completely unnecessary.

The Crack Emcee said...

"At the end of the day, the biggest impact you can make in anything is through kids."

That's why it's so important not to convince them of stupid things, like Jesus is coming to Missouri, or you get your own planet when you die, etc.

Wait a minute - wrong thread.

Or is it,...?

Anglelyne said...

AA: Yes, but there's no way he could have thought: If I try to save these 2 children, I might drown, and as a result many more children might die, therefore it's best for children for me to preserve myself and allow these boys to struggle for their own survival without my assistance.

I'm having a hard time believing wyo sis meant "greater" in that utilitarian sense. Rather, "greater" in the sense of "compounded". His noble death is a terrible loss, and the tragedy is compounded by the community's loss of a skilled surgeon, only fifty, probably at the height of his powers. No bean-counting on the relative worth of the children's lives going on.

Ann Althouse said...

"That's why it's so important not to convince them of stupid things, like Jesus is coming to Missouri, or you get your own planet when you die, etc."

So should the doctor have stayed on the shore and in a feat of rationality preserved himself to save more children?

If religion is only romanticism and this man succumbed to it, would you prefer a world without this dimension?

dbp said...

""At the end of the day, the biggest impact you can make in anything is through kids."

That's why it's so important not to convince them of stupid things, like Jesus is coming to Missouri, or you get your own planet when you die, etc."

A rather totalitarian outlook, I think. Why not save kid's lives and then let them find their own path? Maybe they will believe or maybe not.

edutcher said...

You gotta do what you gotta do.

There are a great many stories like this, reminiscent of "The Open Boat".

furious_a said...

Message to the children (and the parents of) Dr. Liu rescued:

"Your second chance was purchased dearly -- don't f*ck it up."

I have no idea what to say to Dr. Liu's own children.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann Althouse,

So should the doctor have stayed on the shore and in a feat of rationality preserved himself to save more children?

If religion is only romanticism and this man succumbed to it, would you prefer a world without this dimension?


I've saved too many lives - against men holding guns, gangs, etc. - to think (or concede) the two are connected. I didn't need Jesus or whatever to throw myself into the breech - or into personal danger - for others. Just a conscience and a sense of myself - which I've got in spades.

Would I do it now that the world has revealed itself to me in all it's ugliness?

I wonder that myself.

Though I did offer to protect you, once, I don't know if someone random would be so lucky:

Religion and "spirituality" have ripped a lot of that impulse out of me.

What does that tell you,...?

prairie wind said...

Thanks, MarkM. That was my understanding but the article used both "riptide" and "undertow" and I thought maybe something else was going on.

prairie wind said...

Planning to rib Crack a little, i tried to look up the "no greater love" quote from the Bible but, alas, my company has blocked the Bible.cc website. I was a little shocked.

Obviously, since I had to look up the quote, I am not one of those who spend all day on bible.cc.

You all know where I do spend my time.

The Crack Emcee said...

BTW - just to be clear:

I'd probably try to save a child under any circumstances. I'd even be happy to die trying. That's one way to go. No shame there - unless the little brat grows up to be Hitler or some other cultist.

Most adults, though, are on their own,...

dbp said...

John 15:13

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends


I looked it up.

dbp said...

The doctor was heroic and may have still helped even if he knew the outcome. He probably underestimated the danger he was putting himself into though. That is to say, his choice might have been perfectly rational, given his estimate of the danger.

The Crack Emcee said...

dbp,

John 15:13

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends


Yeah - no shit:

I die so you can feel loved.

Give me a fucking break.

Religion is for the birds - let them die,...

dbp said...

Wow Crack! You are really tightly wound these days.

I am an athiest--though not as dogmatic about it as some; I looked up the John quote since prairie wind said the bible sites were blocked.

I did all this at no risk to my life.

rhhardin said...

Compare this news item with the Mars landing, and then consider Dilbert.

Issob Morocco said...

He followed his Hippocratic Oath.

RIP and condolences to his family and friends for a selfless deed, done in the moment. No right nor wrong, just sadness and gladness intertwined on what should be a wonderful summer day at the beach.

Such is the tapestry of life.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to,

He was also fortunate to have had great training and opportunity to be valuable to others and secure in his profession and position.

Nichevo said...

LOL, yeah, psych, he didn't build that.




Original text of the Hippocratic Oath
(h/t: Wiki)

I swear by Apollo, the healer, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath and agreement:

To consider dear to me, as my parents, him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and, if necessary, to share my goods with him; To look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art; and that by my teaching, I will impart a knowledge of this art to my own sons, and to my teacher's sons, and to disciples bound by an indenture and oath according to the medical laws, and no others.

I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.

I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.

But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts.

I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art.

In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or with boys, be they free or slaves.

All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal.

If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all humanity and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my life.}}