A Truly Compassionate Profession Redux


(I posted this last month inadvertently before I had rounded out the thought. No idea how. I do try hard to provide quality product.)

Defenders seek to prevent suffering, as do physicians. Unlike physicians, however, defenders are trying to prevent suffering that someone else is deliberately trying to cause.

Causing suffering to our clients is someone’s idea of justice. If we were to make our own judgments of our clients’ just deserts, we might not try to prevent their suffering.

So the defender’s intent to prevent suffering is accompanied by a suspension of judgment. We try to prevent suffering despite society’s judgment that suffering is just. That is compassion.


0 responses to “A Truly Compassionate Profession Redux”

  1. I’d like to see where this is going. At first, I felt a disconnect between between “we might not try prevent their suffering” and “society’s judgment that suffering is just”. Given that you are part of society….

    But if the former is talking about punishment out of compassion and the latter is talking about punishment out of revenge, then I see a distinction (I’m still grappling with…that suffering is “just”, so I left it out)

  2. Love it!
    Found your blog from the ABA Blawg contest, and I will definitely be back often.
    This post is great; helps explain what I love about being a Public Defender, why I get such a great feeling from doing what I do.
    Thanks much, from a far-away colleague and new fan.

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