Our medical community is in mourning, along with the rest of those impacted by the tragic death of Dr. Benjamin Mauck. We empathize with each death that we must encounter as part of our profession. But when that death is one of our own, it carries a unique pain.
The Memphis Medical Society is a diverse group of physicians representing a broad spectrum of social, religious, and political views. As physicians, we are bound by our mutual commitment to respect and preserve life, while working to improve the health of all patients. As one can imagine, it can be challenging to reach consensus on complex issues that impact our professional and personal lives.
One topic that we can universally condemn and call for more action to address is violence against healthcare workers. This encompasses all forms of violence, including gun violence. These situations have become all too common in our hospitals and clinical practices. Our colleagues in trauma and emergency departments know this all too well. As we learned this week, violence against healthcare workers is not exclusive to them.
We urge our elected officials to move beyond political differences to pass and enforce reasonable laws that address gun violence and public safety. Furthermore, we urge our lawmakers to pass laws that increase the penalties for violence against healthcare workers. We commit to partnering with them to educate the public and to increase the training of our healthcare community as it pertains to handling threats in their workplaces. Our hope is that the Tennessee General Assembly special session on public safety can be an important first step towards creating a safer environment for our entire state, including our healthcare facilities.
It is imperative for all of us to work with our elected officials to take meaningful measures to save lives. The time to act is now. We are prepared to work with our patients and community leadership for a safer Shelby County.
Clint Cummins, MHA, CEO
On behalf of Memphis Medical Society Board of Directors