Should a doctor feel less empathy for a patient whose hazardous life-style choices resulted in their 'wounds' (drug addicts, alcoholics, cliff divers, motorcyclists, smokers)?
Check out this interesting opinion piece in the New York Times by Gavin Francis. Mr. Francis says, in part.....
"If physicians are to be effective in relieving suffering, a balance needs to be found between paucity and excess of empathy. Perhaps awareness of the risks of burnout, and disseminating knowledge of alexithymia, could help promote this balance.
In a world saturated with images of suffering, these concepts apply to all of us. We should be on guard when our fellow humans belong to different social, racial or religious groups than ourselves, or when their sufferings are in some way self-inflicted. Our humanity, as well as our effectiveness in the world, may depend on it."