‘Dead baby’

Column-Dr Anthony Leachon

Preventive Health Education

By Anthony C. Leachon, MD

WHAT common experience binds all of us doctors here in this thread? I thought about this and realized that aside from Emergency Medicine experience – no other profession confronts the fragility of human life like medicine.

As physicians, we experience the most dramatic recoveries, but at the extreme end, we also face the most heartbreaking deteriorations — whether acute or chronic, painful either way. Our errors in judgment lead to unacceptable deficits and significant morbidities. And we all know that our most difficult lessons are learned at the cost of a life.

There is no denying that ours is a hospital of despair. Some scenes have just become too familiar: A mother or father wailing over a dead child’s body; a husband or wife trembling as he or she signs a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) waiver; a son or daughter re gretfully but respectfully explaining the family’s decision that they would not push through with treatment and have decided to just bring their patient home.

The phrase “due to financial constraints” is unarguably the most commonly used statement during case presentations and written reports.

This hospital has seen us at our best and at our worst. The everyday challenge of being a resident physician of University of Sto. Tomas is to give the best possible care, despite the known limitations, and to do so with utmost compassion, even when you are weary, sleepless, and hungry, even if you have been wearing the same clothes for 48 hours, or repeatedly questioning yourself, “Bakit ko nga ba ginagawa ito?” (Why again am I doing this?)

Where pain and suffering abound, we can always choose to SHOW mercy kindness and hope to our patients.

Vital Signs Issue 85 Vol. 4, March 1-31 2016