Friday, August 14, 2009

Man Bites off Part of Doctor's Finger

7:40 a.m. update

The man detectives say attacked his doctor, biting off part of the doctor's finger, has been arrested.

Gregory Scott Powell, 45, of 4833 E. Riverside Drive, Fort Myers, is in the Lee County Jail this morning on charges of aggravated battery on a person age 65 or older after he allegedly bit off part of a doctor’s finger.

From Thursday's The News-Press

By Denes Husty III

Dr. Paul Arnold turned his back for a moment on a patient who was upset because the doctor wouldn't write him a prescription.

That's when the patient, Gregory S. Powell, 45, of Fort Myers, allegedly attacked Arnold, 65, biting off part of one of the doctor's fingers.

"The doctor just turned his back on him for a moment to do something on the computer and he was viciously attacked," said Sgt. Lisa Barnes, Cape Coral police spokeswoman.

Detectives are searching for Powell. They have an arrest warrant charging him with aggravated battery on a person age 65 or older. That charges carries a maximum 30-year prison sentence.

The attack was reported by the doctor's staff Wednesday morning at Arnold's office on Cape Coral Parkway. Arnold, who has 29 years of experience, practices family and emergency medicine.

Officer Saturino Perez said that, when he arrived, paramedics already were treating Arnold, who was taken to Cape Coral Hospital's emergency room and later released.

The doctor said that Powell became "upset about not receiving a prescription medication," Barnes said.

Powell then "proceeded to bite Doctor Arnold several times, including a bite that actually removed a piece of a finger, including the finger nail," Perez said.

Arnold did not return calls for comment.

His staff said he is expected back in his office today.


Stories like this make me cringe. Obviously the patient isn't well, but his illness certainly can't be cured by the prescriptions he was asking for from the doctor. But as I read this story I realized something important: we all bite off doctor's fingers.

Allow me to explain. The role of a doctor, we realize is to help people (soon all doctors will be helping people for free, leaving stoplights as the only remaining barrier to achieving heaven on earth...but I digress). Here the man is going to a doctor whose role is to help others with his specialized expertise, yet the helper is the one who is attacked.

The doctor is human and fallible, and, while he certainly didn't deserve to be bitten by this crazy (and possibly rabid?) man, he himself has certainly had his own moments when he mistreated someone, even if it was as simple as cutting someone off in traffic.

God, however, is completely perfect and completely helpful to us, yet we as a humanity have turned our backs on Him. Even Christians have their moments of sinning against God. Part of this is a process for us to realize our sin and make corrections, drawing closer to and becoming more dependent upon God. But we are guilty of attacking the Good Doctor, nonetheless.

I don't have the gift of mercy, and I'm a little too proud of that fact. The other week I was with some youth, and we decided to play a new game. As I called everyone together, with the intent of explaining the rules, a seventh grade girl asked with a voice dripping of superiority if I was going to at least let them know how to play. It was my moment to rise to the challenge and quip back to her. In a patronizing tone I reminded her that I did, in fact, know what I was doing, and I thanked her for her untimely interruption, which was keeping us all from hearing the rules.

Should I have more grace? Knowing that from time to time we all attack the helpers in our lives; knowing that the Ultimate Helper also displays ultimate patience with all of us; knowing that the next time I bite the helper I would appreciate some grace and patience - I guess so...but I don't have to like it!

Posted via web from Kev the Rev's posterous