Orginal Publication Date
MCV/Q, Medical College of Virginia Quarterly
After having sat here and listened to the panel and particularly to Sue Rowdon describe her experience with her child’s death, I think it has been amply explained what emergency room procedure ought to be. Obviously, there has to be someone to take responsibility for evaluating the infant, and generally that person is going to be a physician. At the same time there has to be someone who can be attentive and compassionate to the family. The physician needs to recognize and explain some of the thoughts that must be going through the parents’ minds, such as, What’s wrong? What’s happened to our baby? What are you doing? Will he be okay? The physician is not going to have all the answers, and in these instances, it is best to say, “I don’t know.” At least he or she should turn away and escape behind the desk.
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