Our experiments are never easy. Saving a life, prolonging it by whatever means is not pretty. So I try to ease family into the room. Given them some expectation of what they’ll find within. That’s not easy on two counts.
One I’m not a grief counselor and have no desire to be. If I could I wouldn’t interact with the next-of-kin at all. It’s not my forte. But as lead surgeon I’m expected to interface with them. I have to explain what’s occurred, what the risks are, and how their loved one is still human. Not the simplest of tasks as it often resorts to a philosophical argument regarding the nature of humanity and the moral and ethical implications of what I’ve done.
All I’ve done is saved a live.
The second thing that doesn’t help is the lawyers. Somehow they always end up being the welcoming committee, as if a family in pain needs such a thing, rather than the hospital mandated grief counselors. The lawyers ply those grieving with coffee and tea while inundating them with paper attempting to get them to sign waivers and claims to protect both myself and the hospital. But mainly the hospital from any suits. They’re off just as quickly, papers in hand, leaving the now stale coffee in the hands of the family.
I’ve tried talking to the lawyers. I’ve asked them not to supply any drinks until after the initial reintroduction. I’ve begged the counsellors to get to the family faster. But to no avail. They always come into recovery with half drunk, lukewarm, bitter and acrid coffee. Which ends up on the floor.
It’s gotten to the point where I have the janitors store an extra mop in the room so they’re not having to come and disturb anyone. I clean up the mess.
Today’s art is courtesy of Stefan Sacha from Seattle, Washington.