In the European culture the plague doctor is known since the Middle Ages, then it was the doctor, in whose duties was imputed to verify death of the people who died of bubonic plague or as it still then was called, black death.
To treat patients it was almost useless therefore people knew – if the plague doctor came into the house, they have trouble. Plague doctors wore characteristic long-nosed masks somehow to be protected from an infection and smells of a decay.
In spite of the fact that plague stormed in Europe hundreds years ago, meaning of an image of the plague doctor remained invariable is a harbinger of death, the ominous prophet.
Knowing, what culturological and historical context is available for an image of the plague doctor, the tattoo with his image are chosen by courageous people to whom originality and desire to shock isn’t alien.