The man's doctor knows him much better than I, knows his history, his allergies, his family, his fears and needs. He has established a relationship with the man, who is ninety-three, and confined to a nursing home now. The man's doctor has cared for him for decades, took care of his wife, his kids are patients now. The doctor patient relationship is precious, and when the doctor is one of the many great ones, actually priceless.

I do not know this man. I don't know how bravely he battled prostate cancer, or how he sat by his wife's side as she succumbed to emphysema. I don't know anything about his history.

But I do know a lot about his present.

I do know that he is in respiratory distress, his heart rate is 130, his sp02 92% on room air and in a-fib. I also know that he's going to the hospital one half mile from the nursing home, even though his doctor insists, then demands he be transported five miles to the hospital where he practices.

Sorry, Doc, nothing personal.


  • Lynda M O says:

    Decisions that family doctors make in emergencies are unfortunately overruled by lots of factors: class of emergency, proximity to a facility, overcrowding and being diverted…. the list goes on. Sad but true and inevitable.

  • pat Blackman/Grandma Muggle says:

    Unfortunately, it is what it is.  Choices are not always our own.  Sad but true.  At least, knowing you, he was made as comfortable as possible durng transit.

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