In the Know
“Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick,
remaining free of all intentional injustice ...”
From the Hippocratic Oath
Whether it’s lead in the superhero glass your 12-year-old son is sipping his milk from or a water bottle that could get stuck on your elementary age daughter’s tongue, I have made it my business to be in the know.
I have an 8-year-old daughter myself. She is a normal kid, who loves her giveaway princess plastic bowl, her sparkly pink insulated lunch bag and her mermaid dolls. I have also made it my business here to do what I can to be certain that the products that reach her fingertips are safe. But with all the information released over the course of the last couple of years regarding product safety, I have become increasingly leery about the products that target her, how they are manufactured and if the companies distributing them have any true concern beyond the bottom line.
I am fortunate in having insider knowledge of the many companies out there that do care about product safety, and that there are many companies that have made sizable investments in being compliant and socially responsible. But when a store employee hands my daughter a toy that makes her smile from ear to ear, how do I know it's coming from one of these companies? How do I know if the product that has brought her such joy is safe?
Physicians take an oath to practice medicine ethically and, most importantly, they vow to “do no harm.” It seems to me that this oath should go far beyond medical school walls. We all should be asked to take this vow. What a world it would be if Wall Street and Washington took this vow, if pharmaceutical companies, overseas manufacturers, the blue chip companies and even Joe the plumber abided by it. Imagine if you can a world based on that mantra, and do no harm.