The parents

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 10 September 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5386
  1. Sara Manning, medical student, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
  1. Correspondence to: smannin{at}

They are regulars. You identify them when the automatic doors sail open, because they greet the nurses by first name. They find their room without asking questions, even on the floors where the numbers are assigned like drops of rain, falling along the hallway with no discernible pattern. They saunter towards their son’s crib, or their daughter’s bed, deftly lowering the sidebars, as if they were opening one of …

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