There are few people in this country today whose careers are near unimpeachable; what blanket honor many professions once had has been tainted by compromise, corruption and general harm. Police and politicians, teachers and soldiers, even many scientists and doctors have fallen from the limelight of default respect. These days, it’s only those who truly get their hands dirty in saving lives, all lives, without bias, ideology or agenda, who can claim a mantle of honor. Boston heart surgeon, Dr. Michael Davidson was one of them. Was.
Davidson worked at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston — notable largely for its most famous resident Vivek Murthy, the young surgeon general who made news when he dared to speak aloud the widely held belief among emergency doctors that gun violence is a legitimate public health issue. Those words proved prophetic today, when 55-year-old churchgoer Stephen Pasceri showed up at the hospital with a gun.
Pasceri has had a concealed carry license for many years. He’s a conservative Christian, an milquetoast accountant described by all who know him as a “nice guy. He loves his family very much.” Perhaps, if possible, too much. When his 79-year-old father died in 2011 of heart failure after a short hospital stay, Pasceri went to the media to complain about the $8,100 bill left behind, and addressed John Kerry himself to do something about the ridiculous price of healthcare. He said in part:
“Truth be told, [hospitals] do it because they can get away with it. If my father had had Medicare Part B, we likely never would have looked closely at the bill. I’m certain that Medicare is being overcharged thousands of times a day by hospitals that will have great difficulty justifying the costs they are passing on.”
In the latter part of 2014, Pasceri’s 78-year-old mother began having serious health problems. She found herself under the care of Dr. Davidson, who was known for “saving lives and improving the quality of life for every patient he cared for.” With degrees from both Princeton and Yale, and a residency at Duke, Davidson may have been the single most qualified cardiac surgeon in the state — if not New England. Second only to the former Surgeon General himself, Davidson was a star at Brigham and Women’s. And that’s saying something for Harvard’s own medical teaching school.
But despite his talents, he couldn’t save the 78-year-old woman, and she went to join her husband two months ago. And that was the end of her son’s rope.
Yesterday, Pascari walked into the hospital and asked for Davidson, who met him outside his office. Pascari withdrew his legally permitted pistol, and shot Davidson twice at point-blank range. He then fled to an exam room as Code Blue sirens filled the halls. As security and medical personnel arrived, Pascari put the pistol to his head, and took the first bullet train to Hell.
Dr. Davidson’s friends rushed him down the hall to an operating room. His colleagues fought for several hours to save him, but the trauma was too severe; the surgeon died on his own operating table. He was 44 years old. In fact, the second heart doctor to be murdered at a Boston hospital in the last 12 years. Cardiologist Brian McGovern was gunned down at Massachussetts General in 2003 — the very same year Dr. Davidson signed on at Brigham.
Today, hospital staff held a memorial for the beloved surgeon, leaving flowers and lowering the flag to half mast.
It seems in America, those who heal broken hearts have become targets for those with broken minds. All part of a broken system, where the only the dead have honor, and the honorless dead lie beside a gun a Bible.
Burn in Hell.