Thursday, September 13, 2012

On Kindness and Compassion: Dr. Norman Barwin

My father, mother, their children, daughters and son-in-law, and their grandchildren.


Dr. Bernard Norman Barwin. Ottawa Fertility Specialist. My father. He has been the subject of outrageous claims and innuendo stemming from a civil suit that was widely reported in the national media. I'm reposting this because I'm outraged that the media has picked up this whole mess again.

I'd like to make clear that absolutely none of the allegations have ever been proven. Indeed, none of the evidence has ever been presented at any hearing, proceeding, or official meeting. It has never been subjected to any examination or evidential consideration. It appears only in a statement of claim.

When asked by my daughter for a school report who I mosted admired, I considered a variety of people such as Gandhi, Mandela, but chose my father. Why did I choose him, even though it might seem cloying to decide on one's own father?

Kindness and compassion.

My father is simply the most kind and compassionate person that I know. He is this way with his patients -- his speciality has been women's health and infertility -- and he is this way with his many friends and with our family.

How we are and how we act as invidividuals makes each of our worlds. He makes his world to be one of kindness, understanding, and compassion.

There are a vast number of people both in his professional and personal life that he has helped, supported, cooked for, made comfortable, looked after, looked out for, done a thousand little extra things for, performed a myriad of little kindnesses for, and empowered with his generosity of spirit and understanding.

No one is without complexity -- these many complexities make us human, complexity is what being human is -- however, when I look at the kind of generous, moral, ethical, and humane world that my father has created, I am inspired. The world may not be perfect, but it can be infused with kindness and compassion.

He has always deeply believed in understanding and valuing who people are, who they want to be, and what lives they have a right to live. He has also demonstrated a rigorous and exacting approach to science, medicine, research, and ethics in his professional life.

He has demonstrated extraordinary moral courage in standing up for his patients' rights and for advocating what is right, sometimes quietly in his actions and his medical practice, sometimes publically. These actions are also a form of kindness and compassion.

I don't know what else is in the media or on the internet about my father, Dr. Norman Barwin, but I know the values that he lives by, and what he values. These will not change, no matter what is said or claimed.

2 comments:

sandra said...

scapegoating is the justice of the barbarian
and the sophisticate alike.
Media, rumour and conjecture ruin the lives of young children at school, and can continue to do so among adults. Meanwhile, people better at hiding and lying continue their games. But I'm with Shakespeare, the truth will out.

Anonymous said...

I have know Dr Barwin, your father since 2001. Without him, my family wouldn't feel as complete as it does now. I have 3 beautiful boys ( 2 of which he assisted us with). I have so much to say about him but unlike Gary, am not as talented as it comes to writing but will try anyway.
What can I add about him? He is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. He bursts with compassion, radiates positive energy and wears his heart on his shoulder. He is empathetic, kind, generous, selfless, inspiring (who runs many miles at his age rain or shine, devotes himself completely to women's issues, shows up several years in a row on Christmas Eve AND Christmas morning because it the most favorable time just to help us (AND might I add brings a bottle of wine and lovely truffles as I gift. Seriously who does that? Even now I get teary at all the emotions I feel when I think of him.
He genuinely cares for people. In his care, I felt peaceful, hopeful, well cared for. He is so soft spoken (sometimes I could barely make out what he is saying ;)) He has called me at home to see how we were doing. He even went ahead with our superstitious nature and would let us change rooms if we wanted to. His laughter was so contagious. I loved making him giggle.
Gary he even gave us a couple of your books. He was so proud of you! He was just so positive all the time. I miss him very much and consider him family. In his care, I trusted him completely .
Although we do not plan on more children, I am full of sadness that he has retired from his assisted reproduction practice. So many families will miss out on the best experience ever.
I support Dr. Barwin 100% and will jump at the chance to help him.
Jen and I love and support you!
Sincerely,

Natasha Emma Love