|Professionalism of physicians at a major teaching hospital during the Fukushima nuclear disaster|
|Scritto da QJM|
It poses a serious problem if physicians leave a hospital without having a replacement or without permission. A huge earthquake followed by a devastating tsunami seriously damaged the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant. This disaster overwhelmed a major teaching hospital in the local area and many hospital employees, including some resident physicians, left the premises. Since the threat of severe radiation exposure poses a potentially greater lifetime risk to younger individuals, letting the young resident physicians leave the hospital was not only allowed, it was actually recommended by many attending physicians and hospital administrators. The hospital administrator was required to make the difficult decision of whether to make all efforts to provide the highest level of medical care, including keeping all of the physicians on the premises, or to evacuate the resident physicians in order to preserve their health and their potential future contributions to healthcare. Consideration and compassion needed to be provided to all people, regardless of the reason they wanted to leave. From an ethical perspective, the roles of performance under these complex circumstances should be understood and embraced by us as individuals, professionals, supervisors and society as a whole.