I have never come to terms with my role in the death of a patient I was looking after in my first job after qualifying in 1972. The man was bleeding to death from oesophageal varices (distended blood vessels in his gullet, caused by liver failure) and would probably have died anyway. But the moment of his death occurred just as I finished giving him an injection that was intended to ease or stop the bleeding.
So, just how do young doctors face dying and death in their day-to-day work? Most have had no personal experience of death before they qualify . I had never seen someone die before, so how do young doctors respond to it, and what feelings does it evoke in them? Death was never enemy of ours! is an attempt to explore this through my personal experience. You can read it here http://philipfthomas.com/?p=209
I had to turn to poetry for the title, and again, towards the end of this short piece. If you haven’t read Wilfred Owen’s The Next War, which is also set by Benjamin Britten’s great work War Requiem, you must read it (and listen to the War Requiem) if you haven’t already done so.