Two minutes of silence
I look at my identity card and it reads “organ donor”. The same sentence I imagine is on many other documents especially from my medical colleagues. I think about what happened last week: a woman, a psychiatrist, was brutally attacked by a man, a former patient of hers and sadly she died. We were told, in all psychiatry services, to observe two minutes of silence in honor of my colleague, but after all this I no longer want to be silent. The same silence in which the institutions signed the time of death of public health. The same silence that has engulfed psychiatry for decades to avoid thinking about it, to turn away.
Then when such violent episodes occur, one realizes that mental illness is a serious matter and that doctors like Barbara fight it with blunt weapons, zero resources, no personnel and an ideology according to which the freedom of the patient is worth more than the life of those who seek to cure him. These two minutes of silence seemed to me like an imposition, an order to continue to keep silent. Instead today I would like to demonstrate, perhaps in the square, surrounded not only by psychiatrists, but by all my colleagues and perhaps also by all the citizens. I would like people to understand that fighting sickness, any physical or mental illness, is an act of love.
Not the romantic one, not the pampering, the need, the support, but the one made of seriousness, passion and interest in others. True love. Instead we doctors are the most attacked category after the police and we are unarmed. Not because we don't carry guns, but because we're the last ones standing to hold up a public health system that no one seems to care about anymore.
I know mine is a sad and even a little pissed off article but Barbara deserved better. He deserved more than two minutes of silence. And I know this because with his last gesture, donating organs, he saved 5 other people in addition to all those he has saved in decades of career. Oh yes, love, the real one.