In Memoriam

Dr. Philip A. Berger

I bestow upon him my very own personal "Congressional Medal of Honor".

I remember the fear on their faces.  And the referrals.  I don't blame them for taking to the "tall grass".  I know *I* couldnít have endured it.

Dr. Berger was at the top of his field and a pleasure to work with.  And understanding my circumstances would see me virtually pro-bono.  And upfront with me about his.  And the trial.  But it wasnít until a half-decade after his death that I learned what heroism this brave captain had demonstrated indeed.  Standing by his patients and enduring it for over a decade and "going down with his ship".    A secretary disappears.  You can no longer afford it.  As your resources are decimated.  And there is more.  Saddeningly more.  You wind up quite isolated and alone.  Abandoned.  As you stand up to it all and its Wrongfulness thinking perhaps your reputation will protect you.  Deluded perhaps, thinking that Justice and Wisdom will prevail and save the day.  But instead, are simply callously "ground up into the gears" by it all.  Wisdom did eventually prevail.  If not Justice.  Perhaps his ordeal and sacrifice helped spur it on.  And he did not die in vain.

I remember as he sat behind his desk that day as those two pages I wrote for him just began to tremble in his hands.

"Are these Towering Oaks of Hope, Wisdom and Courage the ones you cut down?"

Castigating any and all involved in ANY this.  Had they no conscience?

It's an easy mistake.  And I don't think the Medical Board thought much of it either.  A pregnancy is so easy to hide.  Until it's too late.  In fact, "back in the bad old days known as the Dark Ages of fear, ignorance and repression", you'd see the headlines "DA Smashes Abortion Ring" or whatever it was.  Somehow lost in all this was the simple fact that there were Decent and Honest physicians who'd put it ALL on the line then too for these poor and unfortunate women.  And prosecuted for it.  Before it was legal.  And saved many a desperate young woman's life from the "backstreet butchers" or worse "do-it-yourself".  But this never made the headlines back then.

I pin upon Dr. Philip A. Berger, with a Salute of the Highest Respect and Deepest Admiration, my own personal "Congressional Medal of Honor".

For demonstrating to me valor in his field above and beyond the call of duty and for giving his very last on our behalf.  For believing in us and most notably, me personally.  And for putting it ALL on the line for us.  And enduring it until he was driven to his death by an Attorney General whose name I don't know and hope no one else does or was either.  And I told Kitty Petty to her face at a meeting that I'd like to see
that despicable name I don't know who was turned out of office at the next election put on trial for murder and she didnít turn away.  I told her this after a phone call with her.  When I "saw it all".  She didnít know about the trial.  I didnít know how he died.

Thanks Dr. Berger.  Thanks for "enduring it ALL"

A grateful patient,