An elderly woman lies strapped to a bed in the emergency room. She's taken a fall at her house and has severe injuries to her face and head. She is alone in the room; tubes and monitor wires run out from underneath the sheet that is supposed to keep her warm. The monitor glows green with her "numbers", and the 1,000 cc bag of normal saline has almost run it's course.
In her loneliness she cries out in pain, begging God, or anyone for that matter, to help her. Tears run down her cheeks. The neck collar prevents her head from moving but her aged eyes move back and forth searching for someone that can alleviate her pain. Moans turn into screams...desperation and agony set in.
I asked the nurse if we couldn't give the elderly lady something to make her more comfortable. Through the backdrop of screams the indignant nurse informs me that "She's 90-something years old, she doesn't feel any pain", and makes her way to another room. Huh?
I walked into the Doctor's Lounge and found the attending physician. "I'm giving the lady in Room 6 five of morphine". The doctor looked up from what he was reading, "OK".
I demanded the morphine from the same nurse, invoking the physician's orders and soon the patient was blissfully asleep.
I've run into this grotesque attitude before from nurses, physicians, paramedics, and all other manner of heath care "professionals"; that of compassion equates to weakness and inexperience. Many try to pretend that they are so endowed with medical knowledge and experience that only they can recognize the true medical emergencies worthy of their limited compassion. All others are pushed to the curb, compassion be damned. Karma's a bitch!