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Ronald Gilbert, M.D. (1960-2013)

January 2013

Download Dr. Alan Freedman's thoughts on his friend and colleague, Dr. Ronald Gilbert.

Ron Gilbert, our respected urological colleague and friend, who had the ultimate regard for life, was murdered four weeks ago by someone who apparently did not share the same value system. Whether or not Dr. Gilbert, his life brutally taken in his own office, ever treated this patient in his remote past--and whether the perpetrator was “legally” insane, to my mind is beside the point. At his funeral, one of the most heart wrenching I have ever attended, Ron’s Rabbi, in citing the Ten Commandments, suggested not only teaching our children “Thou Shalt Not Kill”; but promoting a societal ethos, whereby even the thought of taking another’s life never enters one’s consciousness.

I know that Ron taught and raised his children well. His older son, eulogizing his dad, was astoundingly eloquent in his words, as would be a leader two to three times his age. The younger son and an uncle divulged a “secret” message left in a desk drawer, directing Mrs. Gilbert to a computer file. The file was a type of living will, written to his then young sons after September 11, 2001, on how to go on in life in case of a catastrophic event involving their dad. It emphasized morality, serious study, decent behavior and treating others with respect.

Ron’s passing has taken a piece out of all of us who had the privilege to know him. After the first week or so of news reports and internet blogs, little more has been said or written—perhaps just another murder to the media. May Ron’s accomplished life and its early senseless ending never by forgotten!