Michael Brown founded Houston’s Brown Hand Center, which specializes in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. He is now on trial for assault, after being arrested last year for attacking his his wife, twisting her arm behind her back and, among other things, hurling his 2010 Joanne King Herring Humanitarian Award at her.
I have often thought that those who give out humanitarian awards for specific instances of good conduct have an ethical obligation to make sure that recipients conform to the definition of “humanitarian” in their overall conduct. One of the definitions of humanitarian is “ethical.” Official pronouncements that an individual is ethical can be very effective false advertising for the character of someone who is anything but. Mr. Brown illustrates my concerns.
By 2010, when Brown received his award, he had already pleaded no-contest in 2002 to aggravated assault for beating then-pregnant wife, Darlina Brown, with a bed post. Call me a stickler, but I think there should be an automatic “Beating a pregnant woman with bedpost” disqualification provision for humanitarian awards. Then, in 2006, Dr. Brown’s medical license was revoked after he tested positive for cocaine use. So to summarize, at the time he was deemed worthy of the honor of being the 2010 humanitarian of the year, Brown was already an admitted wife-beater and an ex-doctor found unfit for the continued practice of medicine.
What a guy!
How about a rule that if you try to kill someone with your humanitarian award, it is automatically revoked?