A little understanding

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 07 July 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:97
  1. Rubeta Matin, senior house officer (
  1. King's College Hospital, London

    When I was a house officer I was bleeped to a ward to watch a man pass the last few moments of his life. He was “not for resuscitation,” but I was called because his relatives were so distressed. On arrival, I remember feeling overwhelmed and helpless. I became rather angry at the nursing staff for the inappropriate call. Afterwards I told my colleagues about how it really wasn't my job to be there for the relatives. “What could I possibly have offered?” I naively said. It was the combination of avoiding a difficult and awkward situation and plain stupidity that led me to …

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