Sunday, April 2, 2017

Man with Skin Cancer loathes Doctors, Dies without Medical Treatment

Dateline: NEW JERSEY—Morris Berbowski, a 53 year-old man, died from skin cancer after refusing to be treated by any doctor for seven years, because he couldn’t find one who wasn’t “a condescending douchebag.”

Seven years ago, Berbowski did show a doctor an embarrassing rash that had developed on his legs and backside, but was traumatized by the experience.

Speaking to a film crew shortly before his death, who produced a documentary about his conflict with doctors, called “Is there a Non-Obnoxious Doctor in the House?” Berbowski said that that doctor—the last he would ever be treated by—used him as “a guinea pig.”

“He was a skin specialist,” said Berboski, “who needed to be summoned by a referral from a general practitioner. The field of doctors is split into a hierarchy, don’t you know. That’s what feeds their god complex, and they inflict that mental disorder onto the rest of us who just want to be given the treatment for our illness, without having to be entangled in the doctor’s power games.

“So I got the referral, waited in line for an hour and a half, and was finally shown to the specialist. He was middle-aged but in flawless physical condition. That was because he was rich, of course, and that too feeds their god complex, the fact that doctors are always overpaid.

“Anyway, there was also an attractive young lady who sat beside the specialist. It turned out she was a medical student who was being trained by the expert. When the doctor told me to lower my pants to show him my skin condition, I felt humiliated because I’d have to show her my naked rear end which was covered in rashes and blisters. But because the doctor spoke with authority and I felt I had no choice, I did as I was told, and the pair of them proceeded to investigate my buttocks, chatting and chuckling as they did so. He used my painful skin condition to illustrate to her the finer points of the textbook definition of my ailment.

“When they had their fill of schadenfreude and no doubt felt sufficiently superior to me, he told me to raise my pants. I did so and when I turned around to face them, they were both smiling like nothing untoward had happened. He wrote out a prescription for an ointment he said might relieve the symptoms for a while. But there are dozens of expensive skin creams out there and I would have to keep purchasing them to find one that works best. The scams in the medical profession are never-ending.

“I left humiliated and vowed I would never again let an arrogant doctor gratify his vanity at my expense.”

Some months later, Berbowski contracted skin cancer. He went to a doctor but as soon as he detected that the doctor had an unbearable attitude, Berbowski left in great haste without receiving treatment.

“That first doctor I saw to treat my cancer began talking to me about his sports car. Instantly I was out the door. And so began my odyssey to find a doctor in North America who isn’t insufferable. I drove all across the continent and left empty-handed.”

The cancer-ridden victim spoke of how “most doctors don’t even want to see you. You have to beg and plead just to be accepted by a general practitioner, before you can get the golden ticket to be shown into the hallowed halls of a specialist. That’s how the medical system trains patients to be passive and to overlook the hubris and haughtiness of these experts.”

Berbowski visited a doctor in Ontario, Canada and watched as the trim and physically fit doctor flirted with a secretary before the secretary commanded Berbowski to wait in another room, without bothering to look at Berbowski.

“First you wait in the general waiting area,” explained Berbowski, “typically for an hour, because doctors are always behind in their work. Then they send you to an isolated waiting room, ostensibly because it affords the patient some privacy. But in practice, you end up waiting there alone for another fifteen minutes or so, and that also trains you to be compliant and to accept your lowly position of being at the doctor’s beck and call. He’s in charge and he’ll see you only when he’s good and ready.

“When I discovered that that Canadian doctor's underling wouldn’t even look at me when she ordered me into the other waiting room, I took that as a bad sign: if I had stayed longer I would have been subjected to the offshoots of his syndrome, of his god complex. So I just turned around and left, without even relishing what must have been the puzzled look on his face.”

Berbowski maintained that doctors and psychiatrists suffer from the delusion that they’re gods, because they hold other people’s lives in their hands. The feeling that they have godlike power corrupts them, and so instead of doing no harm, as required by their professional oath, they inflict their patients with their character flaws, specifically with “condescension, obnoxious displays of vanity, and an overbearing attitude.”

After “crisscrossing the land for three years,” without finding a pleasant physician, Berboswki gave up and resigned himself to his fate. “I’ll likely die from skin cancer,” he said just days before he did die, “but my dignity matters more to me than increasing the number of years I have to live.”

The documentary ends with Berbowski cursing the medical profession for its hypocrisy and for adding to the high price of medical care the cost of having to suffer being near doctors. 


  1. Is his dignity still around, like the Cheshire cat's smile?

    1. Is dying from skin cancer dignified? Not really. But is it less dignified than submitting to the depredations of a clique of narcissistic doctors? I suppose that's in the eye of the beholder. I wonder how much dignity there would be in the quixotic search for a pleasant, humble, non-passive-aggressive doctor in Western big cities.