A heart surgeon was forced to make an extraordinary plea to the public for more funding as he faced criticism for cartooning a doctor cartoon about a heart surgeon being taken off life support.
The cartoon showed the surgeon, wearing a heart mask, being taken away from a hospital in New York and sent to the intensive care unit.
But it drew criticism from those who said the cartoon was insensitive and showed a lack of empathy.
Dr Tim Jones told the ABC’s 7.30 program that the cartoon, which was published in Australia, was a tribute to his own father, who died from pancreatic cancer in 1996.
He said his father’s experience had made him a better person and he had a lot of respect for the profession.
“I think it’s very sad to see a surgeon die in a hospital and he is not even shown smiling.”
We’ve lost so many good people in this country, not just surgeons but everyone from the family to the community.
“The cartoon depicted Dr Jones as a surgeon who had been put on life support after being found in a coma in a wheelchair after an emergency operation, and had to be taken off the respirator, where he had been kept since.
He told 7.15: “I don’t think that the media or the public understand that when we say we need to make a difference, we have to make them feel something and it is a very, very strong feeling.”
Dr Jones said he had no regrets about his decision to draw the cartoon.”
It was an act of kindness and a statement to those who were trying to take my life off the table, I’m really sorry for it,” he said.”
My dad was a very kind man and a very good surgeon and I have no regrets at all.
“This cartoon was intended to show a doctor being taken out of his own life, not to show an image of an operating room.”
DrJones, who is now a consultant cardiologist, said he was “deeply disappointed” by the criticism of the cartoon and the fact that a hospital nurse did not intervene.
“In this world we live in, you’re not supposed to say something that’s offensive to anyone and if you can’t do that, what are you going to do?” he said, calling the cartoon “a sad reflection of society”.
He said he did not want the public to think that his cartoon was anything more than an expression of his personal views.
“A lot of people would have liked it if it was more controversial and I don’t want that to happen.”
The only people that would have seen it were people who were more in the know about my practice.
“There’s no point making it more controversial than it is.”
Dr Alan Prentice, a cardiologist who has represented Dr Jones in court, said the hospital was in a difficult position because the cartoons were not in line with the standards of medical practice.
He questioned the necessity of the hospital having a doctor with such a high profile as Dr Jones.
“What are you talking about?” he asked.
“If the hospital can’t afford to have someone like him, they have no choice but to have a private surgeon.”
But what do you think about people going to hospitals and seeing their own patients?
“He said the cartoons made it hard for the hospital to do its job.”
You can’t have a doctor in front of your eyes and you can only have one person in front,” he told 7:30.”
That is the way this industry works.
“Why do you have a surgeon, who’s a surgeon in front and in the back, on life-support, who needs to be brought in?”
It’s not right.
“He said that if the hospital had to pay for his services, he would have to leave.
Dr Jones also described his decision as a personal one, not a political one.”
As a private practice I am not supposed for my own political views to influence the way I treat patients,” he replied.”
And I can’t control what people do outside of my own practice.
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