Edelman’s life wisdom came not only from his experience in the Warsaw ghetto but from his medical practice as well. He would constantly say that what matters in medicine is only the human being. The human being—the patient—who should not suffer. But in order to make that happen, the surgeon must act like a human being and not a robot or a bureaucrat.
On Sep 16, 2004, at a conference entitled “Meeting the authority”, held by the Polish Cardiac Surgery Association, Edelman said: “You operate not on the heart itself. You have an ill person on the table not his heart alone. You need to treat the suffering human. You need to be with him for it is easier for him to bear the terrible pain after his chest has been opened if the one who caused that pain is a real human made of bone and flesh, who approaches his patient with kindness. The operator of a remote surgical devise will not play such a role.”
Because of such thinking Edelman could be a role model for his entire life. He saw the human being even on the other side of the fence in the most hopeless moments of his life. This opponent needs assistance when in pain. This is why Edelman was always respected by people of different political views and inclinations.
We want to write about contemporary physicians who adhere the principles that Marek Edelman stood for—the human being comes first, well before the system, bureaucracy and profits. But with this it is not our intention to propagate a view that medicine should be a poor field practices by poor people. We opt for supporting new technologies in medicine as long as they serve the human being.