Since posting about Glenn Beck’s brush with death a few days ago I have carefully read his account of what happened on his day after Christmas ‘routine’ surgery (eerily similar to my ordeal in some ways – near Christmas, though when one completely bleeds out after 75 minutes at a BP of 30 over 10 it is difficult to compare experiences in all ways).
The ‘I Don’t Give A Flying Rip’ Attitude of Inappropriate Medical Staff
Beck’s description of the nurse who was completely capable of helping him negotiate his way off the couch and out of the room, but didn’t lift a finger was very typical of what I have seen time and again in my medical journey with hospitals. (Keep in mind, my initial medical melt-down has resulted in eight more surgeries so far – no more I pray!)
The nurse he mentioned even went so far as to drum his fingers on the door as to say,
“Come on now – I have more important things to do…” Yeah. I’ve watched Grey’s Anatomy enough times – there’s a lot of action happening in the back rooms. I have many doctor friends who have been through residency programs who have laughingly told me since that show has aired this is not far from what occurs – believe it or not – when docs and nurses work in close quarters for 48 plus hours at a time.
All well and good. It’s when basic human dignity is overlooked that I become at least a bit agitated.
The average fourth grader is aware of the Hippocratic Oath. That first line is a doozy – “First do no harm…” Now that is the opening line of a novel based on Beck’s experience or mine turned into novel form – just waiting to be inputted into a laptop.
Just to be clear, as with Beck, I was also saved by some amazing docs. I regularly, prayerfully thank God for several of those doctors by name the way they live out the very definition of ‘Dedication.’
So what’s gone wrong with the system? Wow – that’s a three-day discussion that is perhaps better suited for a round circle discussion with a few ethicists, docs who get it, and a smattering of Beck’s and Sjogren’s to boot – then tape that sucker and play it in HD on pay-per-view.
This is THE issue folks.
Big clue – take notes if you must – ain’t gonna happen – not in the lifetime of anyone reading this blog entry anyway. If it did, you would really be taking your life in your hands if you showed up to be cared for in such a system. Ask any Canadian or Brit about their system.
The only place where such utopian systems come close to functioning are countries with very small populations that are highly capitalized – Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland. To boot, they don’t seem to mind living under the burden of a tax code that begins with each person shelling out 55% and some paying 90% of what they earn in income taxes. (“Yes we have high taxes, but our children go to school for free and we have healthcare…”)
Again, discussion circle needed.
Back to the Beginning – try a little kindness.
“The kindness of God leads us to a radical life change…” Rom. 2:4, The Message. How simply profound is that. I am incapable of ever living in consistent positive attitudes of any sort. It’s just not in me.