My daughter is not a case

In our rush to practice sound scientific medicine, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that we are treating human beings, who are most likely vulnerable, apprehensive and in need of moral support in their darkest hours. more»

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2 comments on “My daughter is not a case

  1. td says:

    Sure, language can be a tricky thing, (never mind the medical science part) but sometimes folks should be more understanding on all sides. Having also been referred to as a “case” on some of many hospital visits / stays through the years, my reaction was the opposite; understanding that this was someone trying to help me, I took no offense with semantics, concentrating instead on their efforts made on my behalf. Ultimately, we’re all “cases” on an overpopulated, under resourced planet, so it’s best to keep the larger picture in mind and not get upset about the difference between popular and technically nuanced definitions. Today, “English as a second language” is spoken by most folks in the U.S., no matter how long we’ve all lived here, with continuing “Tower of Babble” misunderstandings …

  2. medexaminer says:

    For some, the words may matter little. But for others, the words we use to frame our experiences with patients are much more than semantics; in capturing our fellow humans as “cases,” we create a distance between ourselves and those we serve. While this may in some instances be a protective mechanism or a means to maintain our medical objectivity, it is more often a manner of insulating ourselves from the suffering of others. Too much insulation seals us away from both the hurt and the rewards of caring for our patients. Most importantly, too much insulation prevents our patients from seeing in the eyes of their provider the compassion of another fellow in the struggle of life.

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