My patient died

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

When I saw him going into cardiac arrest, and subsequently his death announced, I had a sense of futility, then sadness. I was just talking to him yesterday, asking him whether he felt better, eating well and ect. It was as though he just disappeared.

I had seen somebody die. Some willing, others were not. Some were expected to die and some not. Some died of natural causes and other deaths were iatrogenic. It does not get easier for me. On the other hand, if death became easier for me, I would lack empathy. I want to be the sort of doctor that, 20 years down the line, when any of my patients die, I will still feel sad, and sorry for them.

This type of learning, with the rare opportunities for open dialogue abt death and dying is unique. In the hidden curriculum of medicine, where learning about death comes from seeing it on the wards, there is little time and often doctors are unwilling to discuss death and emotions relating to it. A personal education from a willing and honest patient is invalueble.

I am still clueless about the process of dying, my role in it and my response to it.


Violet said...

Those who had passed away actually progress into another world... spiritual world...
Death is a natural process, u know that, but i think to see, feel and experience it ur ownself is totally different and mind boggling...

Just have to pray for them... and u r doing a great service to humankind... ^v^

Bro Punna said...

I will give you a CD teaching you on how to handle this

dr wong