About Me

Larbert, Scotland, United Kingdom

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Should we get annoyed?

a.k.a. Why do good things happen to bad people.

Over the past few weeks, a common pattern seems to be emerging - often young, previously healthy patients with wives/husbands, young families, and who are working and contributing to society* are getting very sick, and or dying, whilst chronic alcoholic, IVDU's end up recovering from their alcoholic encephalopathy, seizures, and coronary events*.

*the above are composites of different patients.

It seems unfair that people who were doing good, and are only a little older than myself are dying, despoite all the treatment we can offer, and yet people who are on their second or third ICU visit are recovering, but not reforming and going back out to continue their downward spiral.

I am not suggesting that some lives are more important than others, but there does seem a fundermental unfairness about the fact that those who contribute to society are the ones to die, and those who sponge/take from socety are the ones who survive.

As one doctor put it today "those with a rough paper-round have just become so tough that it takes more than a bit of alcohol and an MI to kill them".


Neil said...

The main question that atheists can throw at Christians (or indeed theists of any sort) is the problem of pain - why, if there is an all-powerful all-loving God, do bad things happen, particularly why do they happen to people who don't deserve it. There are obviously many answers that can be given but largely they come down to 'I don't know why - blessed be your name'.

On the opposite side, the main question that can be thrown at atheists is the problem of joy - why, if everything happens by mechanistic mindless chance, do good things happen, particularly to people who don't appear to deserve it. Ultimately, however, none of us deserve it and the answer is simply God's grace. We are still left asking why, but it is a 'why' of wonder.

dr_dyb said...

I agree with all you have written, but still find myself facing the question should I be annoyed by it, or should I accept it, and how?

Various philosophical routes include "It is God's will" or "It's fate" or look for a medical/scientific opinion as to why one died and one did not, but as for dealing with who gets so ill, and why... I guess that's why we have placements, to learn how to deal with the emotion of it.

Having seen a 40 odd year old Consultant getting quite cut up and annoyed that there was not more that could have been done I suppose it can be argued that once you stop caring about patients dying you are useless as a Doctor.