@anne A bit difficult arguing the same thing to PMP and you, but I almost get the feeling that you are being willfully obtuse.
Can you not see the difference between making gratuitously offensive jokes and black humour as a coping mechanisms because it deals with a situation that is distressing (and yes, it was distressing to have worried looking young couples or mothers with their teenage sons come in and wait for their appointment with the head of department that stood a good chance of being a death sentence).
We always made a point of offering them tea and coffee from our tea kitchen, because we knew that we were not running a risk of infection, at least not after the cups had gone through the dishwasher), and being nice and friendly and treating them as humans not some infectious zombies would be the minimum we could for them.
I have no doubt that, say, social workers may similarly joke about domestic violence in their professional environment, but it would then be in a situation where the topic of the bad taste joke is at least relevant.
However, in either case the jokes must remain private!
edit: Just to add one example of medical black humour going wrong: A few years ago it became public that doctors at a well known NHS hospitals labelled some of their patient GFS, “good fen stock”. Cynical, but probably largely nail on head, and most importatly something should have never appeared on a patient note. Generating a paper trail of your bad taste is the hard copy version of PNs idiocy.
second edit: AFAIK it had disciplinary consequences, and quite rightly so!
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