And yet, sad to say, all too often those very same people prove to be failures in other, equally significant areas of human direction. These are those whose development as emotionally mature individuals have never somehow reached completion. Perhaps because their genetic endowment left them with the rich potential for achieving practical heights, but left them bereft of attaining to emotional growth and stability. Whatever the reason, they stand out as failures as human beings.
One such is an Ottawa doctor, McGill-educated, and a surgeon of sterling repute, so much so that at The Ottawa Hospital's General campus he held the position of chief of surgery. A not inconsiderable achievement, given the size of the hospital, that of the community it serves, and the wealth of talent in the medical profession. Yet now, Dr. Joel Freedman has had his privileges at The Ottawa Hospital revoked and he faces a disciplinary hearing at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
He is, in short, a disgrace to his profession, but far more, a disgrace as a human being. He hasn't committed murder, nor has he held up a bank. But as a citizen of a country with boundless opportunities for personal advancement, he grasped those opportunities that came his way, commensurate with his personal aspirations, and managed to scale a height of his medical profession. As a supremely privileged member of society he took his sense of privilege a mite too far.
Driving his Porsche, he became enraged at the assumption that another driver had cut him off. Whereupon this 64-year-old surgeon tail-gated the offending driver, all the while swearing and gesticulating, ordering the other driver to pull over. Which the other, a 26-year-old, obligingly did. Before he could emerge from his car, after parking it at a bank's parking space, the good doctor had leaped out of his two-door vehicle and begun to repeatedly punch his victim in the face.
It would appear that Dr. Freeman held a closed pocket knife in his fist while delivering his message of discipline. His victim suffered a split lip and bruised jaw, after having taken multiple blows to his head, shoulders, face and upper torso. One might view this as an indication that the colorectal and gastric bypass specialist might be unfit to practise his profession. Technical expertise might be his, but emotional stability and decency of good judgement appear to elude him.
The charges levied against him by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario - and in appreciation of which the University of Ottawa's medical faculty has removed his teaching privileges - are characterized as conduct that "would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional".
He seems to have hit all the wrong notes on all those right descriptives.