After being accused of practising medicine withour a license, Dr. Hunter "Patch" Adams gives a speech to the board on how doctors should not just fight diseases but also engage in the battle against indifference to improve the quality of life. Patch Adams is played by Robin Williams in the comedy-drama film based on Dr. Hunter Adams' life.
BOARD MEMBER: Hunter Adams. You've been accused of practicing medicine without a license. That's a very grave charge, son. Are you aware that it's unlawful to practice medicine without a medical license?
HUNTER ADAMS: Yes, sir, I am.
BOARD MEMBER: Are you aware that running a medical clinic without the proper licensing can place both you and the public in a great deal of danger?
HUNTER ADAMS: Is a home a clinic, sir?
OPPOSITION: If you are admitting patients and treating them physical location is irrelevant.
HUNTER ADAMS: Sir, will you define treatment for me?
BOARD MEMBER: Yes. Treatment would be defined as the care of a patient seeking medical attention. Have you been treating patients, Mr. Adams?
HUNTER ADAMS: I live with several people. They come and go as they please. I offer them whatever help I can.
BOARD MEMBER: Mr. Adams, have you or have you not been treating patients at your ranch?
HUNTER ADAMS: Everyone who comes to the ranch is a patient, yes. And every person who comes to the ranch is also a doctor.
BOARD MEMBER: I'm sorry?
HUNTER ADAMS: Every person who comes to the ranch is in need of some form of physical or mental help. They're patients. But also every person who comes to the ranch is in charge of taking care of someone else - whether it's cooking for them, cleaning them or even as simple a task as listening. That makes them doctors. I use that term broadly, but is not a doctor someone who helps someone else? When did the term "doctor" get treated with such reverence, as, "Right this way, Doctor Smith" or, "Excuse me, Dr. Scholl, what wonderful footpads" or, "Pardon me, Dr. Patterson, but your flatulence has no odor"? At what point in history did a doctor become more than a trusted and learned friend who visited and treated the ill? Now, you ask me if I've been practicing medicine. Well, if this means opening your door to those in need - those in pain - caring for them, listening to them, applying a cold cloth until a fever breaks - if this is practicing medicine, if this is treating a patient then I am guilty as charged, sir.
BOARD MEMBER: Did you consider the ramifications of your actions? What if one of your patients had died?
HUNTER ADAMS: What's wrong with death sir? What are we so mortally afraid of? Why can't we treat death with a certain amount of humanity and dignity, and decency, and God forbid, maybe even humor. Death is not the enemy gentlemen. If we're going to fight a disease, let's fight one of the most terrible diseases of all, indifference.
Now, I've sat in your schools and heard people lecture on transference and professional distance. Transference is inevitable, sir. Every human being has an impact on another. Why don't we want that in a patient-doctor relationship? That's why I've listened to your teachings, and I believe they're wrong. A doctor's mission should be not just to prevent death but also to improve the quality of life. That's why you treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you win, no matter what the outcome.
After being accused of practising medicine withour a license, Dr. Hunter "Patch" Adams gives a speech to the board on how doctors should not just fight diseases but also engage in the battle against indifference to improve the quality of life. Patch Adams is played by Robin Williams in the comedy-drama film based on Dr. Hunter Adams' life.0 people like this