Getting on the Bus

elinlowri

Getting on the Bus

‘We’re so grateful for the fact that they didn’t suffer at the end of their life’

‘Why didn’t they have a scan and a biopsy? It might have saved their life’

Sometimes it’s hard to know what ‘Doing the Right Thing’ is. Those questions could have been asked of me by relatives about exactly the same patient. In fact, they have been asked of me, repeatedly, about very similar patients. What is the difference between those patients, those relatives? Or is it me? Am I too nihilistic in my approach? Should I be more aggressive in my ordering of tests and treatments? Are their expectations reasonable or unreasonable?

We were taught, at medical school, a lot about pathology. We learned lists of causes for abnormalities of a thousand different, tiny systems. We learned rare, eponymous conditions that we should always be alert to, like constantly watching…

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