More and more armchair quarterbacks are trying to figure why Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan gunned down 13 people and wounded another 30 at the Fort Hood Army Post in Texas. These type of analyses happen with any mass killing spree. The difference here is that Hasan was a psychiatrist. The issue that I am having with their so-called conclusions is that they are calling it "compassion fatigue". You have got to be kidding me! First of all, you have to prove to me that Dr. Hasan had any compassion in the first place. Second of all, doctors are not like postal workers. They don't go "postal" or "medical", if you will. They don't go on killing sprees! Here is a better article on compassion fatigue in Family Practice Management from 2000. Their definition is quite good:
Compassion fatigue is a deep physical, emotional and spiritual exhaustion accompanied by acute emotional pain. Whereas physicians with burnout adapt to their exhaustion by becoming less empathetic and more withdrawn, compassion-fatigued physicians continue to give themselves fully to their patients, finding it difficult to maintain a healthy balance of empathy and objectivity. Those who have experienced compassion fatigue describe it as being sucked into a vortex that pulls them slowly downward. They have no idea how to stop the downward spiral, so they do what they've done since medical school: They work harder and continue to give to others until they're completely tapped out.
Show me where Dr. Hasan kept giving himself to his patients more and more. Show me how he worked harder and harder with more and more compassion. For the families of the people killed at Fort Hood, please do not give this guy the benefit of being called compassionate. It is disrespectful. He did what he did because he was isolated, he no longer wanted to be in the military, he did not like who we were at war with, and no one would grant him his wishes to get out. Add to this the fact that he was a covert and warped religious zealot and you have the horrific results in Texas.
Doctors with compassion fatigue kill themselves. It is a terrible but sad truth. They don't, however, kill others. Dr. Hasan was a coward and the word compassion should NEVER be associated with his name.