PATCH ADAMS

ABOUT PATCH ADAMS

Dr. Patch Adams is an American clown doctor, some may remember the film about him starring Robin Williams. Patch has for two decades been travelling the world to inspire peace, love and unity.

Happiness is a change of attitude. It is a decision to be happy and pass your smile from one to the other.  

Patch Adams made a decision at a critical juncture when he wanted to end his life and voluntary admitted himself to a mental institution.  The critical choice was to see differently and be happy. He could continue to live in misery and end his life or live to his highest potential and be happy.  His positive choice changed the world.

Patch studied to become a medical doctor.  He chose unorthodox techniques such as clowning, play, laughter to engage and rehumanise doctors.  He released stress and encouraged fun for frightened patients in pain.  

At the University they found his practices unorthodox and like anyone not fitting the model they threatened to kick him out of Medical school as he didn’t take it seriously.   On his file was the crime of ‘excessive happiness’.  Today we learn of the same seriousness now calling happiness ‘toxic happiness’ as if a disease when it is our natural state of wellbeing.

This scene is from the movie Patch Adams and it is Patch teaching the medical establishment what being a doctor is really about.

Patch talks about the importance of humanity in medicine not self importance.

I lost my mother on 13/1/2023 through medical practices that I have questioned deeply and had their basis in profit, detachment and judgement. Unfortunately doctors didn’t learn from Patch’s film as it was a message sent to this fraternity.  The doctors did not see my mother as a precious human being but rather she was reduced to a medical condition and diagnosed as non compliant rather than asserting a right to say no to interventions that did not make her better.  No-one sat down and really got to know her as time is money rather than a public service.  The real disease as Patch says is indifference‘. Detachment, busy schedules, lack of staffing and profiteering has been the perennial problem in health care. The care has been lost, my mother said to me they don’t care’. I felt a detachment and inhumanity as I watched my mum decline slowly dying and in pain without Palliative Care when she wanted to live.  Her death changed my life.     

Happiness is the real healing as the desire to live arises.  It is in our misery that people want to die (assisted dying).  All in reality want to live a quality of life, which can be medically achieved.  Medicine is a business where investors, corporations and other players profit from patents and rising disese.  As a result the Hippocratic Oath to ‘Save Lives’ has been reframed to an ethos of doctors assisting patients to die. They cite unbearable suffering as the rationale and call it compassion (in some cases it may be).  My mother didn’t want to die and she didn’t want to live in continual unwellness as her quality of life declined.  The seriousness and practices of this medical cartel helped to hastened her death rather than her life, 

In 2024 still this problem remains the same. Medicine is a science not a healing modality. It is about chemistry and now genetic engineering and biotechnology. It is no longer about healing which in reality is balance. How do we learn to see through the 3 fingers beyond the facts to find real solutions.  Arthur Mendelson advised Patch to see beyond.  Only love heals.

I know happiness and love is The Way to healing our world.  Happiness and real care is what our world is crying out for. This detachment and objectivisation of humanity that we see amplified by digitisation is disconnecting us from those very precious social bonds.

Patch when studying medicine clowned around in paediatrics starting something new.  He brought joy to the children and then brought his message to adults.  That is the power of choosing happiness and choosing life.  He asked how can i in every single moment be an instrument to peace, justice and care.  he decided to be happy every second of his life.  He identified 6 qualities:  Happy, funny, loving, cooperative, creative and thoughtful.  Clowning was a trick to get love close.  He is a fool.  Fools are held sacred by the Gods.  Have a listen to what Patch said on TEDx.

Patch Adams says:  Depression is a symptom of loneliness.  Patch’s free hospital never received a grants. All his staff had to have other jobs. He knew he had to become famous, even though they didn’t like the media.  He is on the road 350 days per year for 28 years (more now).  He focused on community. He is a peace activist, the idea was to love the world.  He spoke of loving ‘the enemy’.  His clown trips was to love Russian people.  You don’t need training as a clown. He took clowns into Afghanistan, refugee camps, war zones, orphanages and nursing homes etc.  

Clowning with Patch in Russia

Patch’s brother Wildman invited Susan on Patch’s Healing with Humour Tour to Russia remembering his philosophy of:

Laughter is the best Medicine

I had the joy of travelling with Patch to Russia in 2002 as a Peace Clown. On my return I reflected on how effective clowning had been in creating unity and re-humanising people.  He called this a ‘love revolution’ – yes making love not war.  Patch has travelled to Russia for 41 years but a clown for more than 50 years.  The Healing with Humour tour was a peace initiative to thaw US/Russian relations and be an example of joy to the world.  He changed millions of lives when he decided to be happy.

Patch’s brother Wildman rang me from Washington and said Patch would like me to come.  I had 7 weeks to raise $7,500 to go to Russia for 2 weeks. I was a student.  I clowned at the Canberra Hospital with Robyn Handbury and she told me her mother-in-law may help.  I would like to warmly thank Robyn Handbury and her mother-in-law Helen Handbury (sister of Rupert Murdoch) for sponsoring my trip to Russia.  It changed my life. Through this experience I can change the lives of many others. 

Robyn’s blog on her Russian trip:  https://www.docfunny.com/russia.htm

I’d like to thank Patch for allowing me the experience which inspired my REAL HOPE program and continuing my work for peace and happiness.

(kiss kiss, hug, hug, love you).

 

Slide Show
Clowning in Russia.
Slide Show

Speech
The Love Revolution.
Speech

Extracts from my trip to Russia.  This was the beginning of exploring the Fool within me and others.  To love people is our true nature.  Fear shuts down who we are, so when you find the courage to step out of your comfort zone, albeit to be a Fool, you step into joy and see everyone as beautiful (beautifool).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACVp82huzgI