Words matter. Words have consequences. Lies matter. Lies have consequences. People have understood this for a very long time – note the biblical prohibition against bearing false witness against one’s neighbor (that one actually made it into the Top 10 list).
What our current president stated at his recent rally in Wisconsin is false witness, defamation, slander, against doctors. It goes beyond that to incitement. His words, his lying, defamatory, slanderous words, will cause death.
Doctors do not “execute infants.” Full stop.
They do not wrap a living, breathing baby in a blanket and “determine whether or not they will execute the baby.”
This particular outright lie of Donald Trump has painted bullseyes on doctors, nurses, and patients for violent anti-abortion extremists. Doctors may be killed because of his words. Nurses may be killed because of his words. Patients may be killed because of his words. His false words. His slander. His lies.
He has harmed doctor-patient relationships with his slander. His defamatory words drive a wedge between those who have spent lifetimes dedicated to helping others in their times of greatest need and those who need their help.
He has born false witness. He is quite possibly inciting murder. He has put my colleagues’ lives in danger. He has put my patients’ lives in danger – both from direct violence by those agitated by his lies attacking people seeking care, and by alienating patients from doctors who are there to help them.
The blood will be on your hands, Mr. Trump.