“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Jan 22, 2013
DEAR ABBY: I would like to respond to "Still Grieving in Arkansas" (Nov. 20), who was upset that he didn't get a response to a note he sent to his wife's treating physician after her death.

As an RN, my mom had a tendency to become very close to patients who required long-term care in the hospital. It seemed that she never had any "emotional detachment" from her patients, but instead formed an "emotional attachment."

I recall many times during the convalescence or death of these patients, Mom would come home from work and go to bed and cry from her own bereavement. As her son, I grieved, too, because it hurt me to see Mom hurting. As a young child, my father, siblings and I could have done without these periods of unnecessary emotional pain.

Therefore, Dear Abby, I think you were right to say, "Please forgive them" when doctors and nurses don't exhibit public remorse during times of grief.-- RN'S SON IN GEORGIA

DEAR RN'S SON: Thank you for describing your mother's response to a patient's passing and how it affected the family. However, I also heard from many health care providers who said that it is their duty to acknowledge the passing of one of their patients, and it should be considered part of the healing process for both the patient's family and the health care provider. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: I am a hematologist-oncologist. I try to send a sympathy card to each family after the death of their relative. If I receive a note or a copy of an obituary, I try to call the person to thank them for taking the time to contact me.

After seeing "Grieving's" letter, I took an informal poll of my colleagues and was gratified that many do send notes. I was surprised that some do not extend sympathies. After hearing it, I encouraged them all to do so. It's the least we can do to promote healing among the survivors.-- OHIO ONCOLOGIST

DEAR ABBY: I am a retired medical oncologist. Early in my career, a grieving patient's husband berated me for not contacting the family after his wife died. It was then that I realized that despite my excellent care, the family needed something more -- closure. For 30 years, until I retired, I sent a personal sympathy card and message to each family concerning their loss. Sharing these thoughts also gave me closure.-- DOCTOR JACK IN ARIZONA

DEAR ABBY: Please let "Grieving" know that one reason the health care professionals did not acknowledge his wife's death may have been they were instructed by the hospital/treatment center not to. In this day and age, when doctors are sued for malpractice, these types of sympathy notes can be used in court.-- YVONNE IN AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS

DEAR ABBY: I am at an age when I have lost many family members. Not once has the doctor sent a condolence card or letter to any family member. On the other hand, I have also lost many pets. Each time, the veterinarian sent a card or note, personally signed and often with the signatures of the entire office staff. I do not believe medical doctors care less for their patients than veterinary doctors care for family pets, but that vets have made sending condolences part of their office protocol. Medical doctors might well consider adding that protocol to their practices.-- MARY IN VIRGINIA

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#2 Jan 22, 2013
This is all about displaced anger. If doctors want to foster goodwill with the family, great, but I doubt I'll have any need for sympathy notes from the doctors if I were to lose a loved one.

Hell, I find it to be a little annoying when I take my kid to the pediatric clinic and they call the next day just to see how he's doing. I wonder what percentage of people answer with anything more than, "he's fine". I mean, if he wasn't fine, I would not be waiting for the clininc to call me. I find that call just a minor waste of time.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#3 Jan 22, 2013
Meh.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#4 Jan 22, 2013
" In this day and age, when doctors are sued for malpractice, these types of sympathy notes can be used in court.-"

BULLSHIT. I hate these stupid blanket statements that are based on zero fact and zero knowledge of the law.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#5 Jan 22, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
Hell, I find it to be a little annoying when I take my kid to the pediatric clinic and they call the next day just to see how he's doing. I wonder what percentage of people answer with anything more than, "he's fine". I mean, if he wasn't fine, I would not be waiting for the clininc to call me. I find that call just a minor waste of time.
And a major waste of tiem for THEm, if they're doing this with every pediatric patient!

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#6 Jan 22, 2013
squishymama wrote:
Meh.
(Squishy- I sent you a PM the other day- did you get it?)

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#7 Jan 22, 2013
I got a sympathy card from the staff at the veterinary practice when my horse was put down. I thought it was nice. But I wasn't expecting it or feeling entitled to it

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#8 Jan 22, 2013
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
(Squishy- I sent you a PM the other day- did you get it?)
I just saw it and replied, PE.

I've been on vacation the last few days and just now logged in on a real computer; the stupid mobile thingy for topix doesn't show if I get a PM.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#9 Jan 22, 2013
If it were a sudden death, I would agree with you. But when your loved one spends months, or possibly longer battling cancer or some other disease, I believe that a team mentality takes over, and its not just about the patient, but the patient, the family, the doctors, and nurses and everyone else involved in helping the patient fight the disease. And whether the patient lives or dies, it is a team effort, and I can see the family being miffed when they spent months working with the hospital staff and working with them.
Mister Tonka wrote:
This is all about displaced anger. If doctors want to foster goodwill with the family, great, but I doubt I'll have any need for sympathy notes from the doctors if I were to lose a loved one.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#10 Jan 22, 2013
RACE wrote:
If it were a sudden death, I would agree with you. But when your loved one spends months, or possibly longer battling cancer or some other disease, I believe that a team mentality takes over, and its not just about the patient, but the patient, the family, the doctors, and nurses and everyone else involved in helping the patient fight the disease. And whether the patient lives or dies, it is a team effort, and I can see the family being miffed when they spent months working with the hospital staff and working with them.
<quoted text>
I'll take your word for it. I have no experience in this arena. At present, I don't view a doctor as part of "my" team. I view him like the lawn guy: someone I pay to provide a service.
Sam I Am

Cedar Grove, TN

#11 Jan 22, 2013
It depends on the patient. Not every situation warrants the same attention and resolution. Why do people need to determine some one size fits all-solution for everything? And who really cares if the dr. writes a note? If it going to bring your loved one back? Does the care and attention that dr. showed during treatment mean less than a stupid note? Get over yourselves, people. If one of my family members requires long-term care and they die, the last thing I am going to care about is a stupid note.

Since: Oct 09

Wagner, SD

#12 Jan 22, 2013
Like doctors and their staff don't have enough to do without constantly worrying about sending cards to family members. Do patients and their families think they are the only people the doctor and staff deals with? Do they think the medical office should revolve around them?

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