Patrick Dismuke was a teenage boy who had been a patient at Hermann Hospital all his life. He suffered from numerous health defects, including blood-clotting problems, malnutrition, and infection. On his journey, he learned to love the hospital, even more so than his home (perhaps due to the slight abandonment by his mother). He loved his doctors and nurses (most of them) and frequently spent his childhood playing games around the nurses’ station. The hospital staff equally loved Patrick, letting him watch movies late at night, allowing him to eat junk food, and answering his late night calls when he was lonely. Patrick’s love was so strong that he infected his own main line, the line leading directly to his heart, with dirt and feces so he would return to the hospital.
However, as the story progresses and the surgeries and medication became more frequent, Patrick enjoyed the facility less and less. At the ripe age of 16, he was tired of all of the painful heart surgeries and of Dr. José Aceves (the one in charge of Patrick) making all of the decisions. In the end, he mentally decided that surgery was more painful than death, but he still went through with one final surgery. This surgery was a turning point of Patrick because his entire mood changed. He was unhappy and very fatigued all the time; he did not want to be assisted by the nurses; and he desperately wanted to leave the hospital. At the same time, the hospital staff made it their priority to keep Patrick comfortable and happy, even if that meant to put him on DNR. They did this knowing that death was close due to the aftermath of the heart surgery. On his final days, Patrick thanked all of his doctors and nurses for raising him, who in tur...
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...ics is of critical importance to the medical field. Circulating the entire novel, is the question of “What is best?” whether it is the patients, parents, or committees asking. In regards to the future of health care, future health providers must keep in mind their own sense of morality and virtue, their own sense of “What is best?” Doctors are not intellectual robots who only provide prognoses and diagnoses or medications and surgery. They are, first and above all things, human beings with the capacity to think of right and wrong. Is the responsibility of the medical field to remember that one must first, do no harm before going through with a particular situation. And, with the medical sciences ever increasing in our modern day—stem cell research, human genome projects, facial reconstruction surgery—the question of “What is best?” becomes ever more important.
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