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Patient Safety
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Crime in
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Thomas Jefferson said that given the choice between government without newspapers and newspapers without government, he would choose to have newspapers.

In medicine we have government without newspapers. Patients cannot find out what they need to know to make informed choices. No one in medicine records or reports the information patients need to know the most. So patients will have to.

Rough Draft

Rough Draft / Under Construction



*        *        *


He was in Florida lying on a beach in the sun. He was fifteen years old on spring break with his parents. A college girl sat down next to him and started talking to him. He didn't know what to say. He squinted in the bright light looking at her. She stayed in spite of his fumbling clumsily to respond to her conversation. He was afraid to look at her closely to see what she looked like and how small her bathing suit might be, but after about fifteen minutes he finally sat up and she asked, "How old are you?"

Not old enough. She left shortly thereafter.

Less than a year later he was lying in a dentist's chair when the hygienist asked him out for the first time. It wasn't his first date. It was the first time a woman had asked him to go on one.

At school in his track suit he had finished stretching and was lying in the grass when two women he knew stopped and talked to him. They'd never paid much attention to him before. They told him he looked good lying there in that track suit. And he began to think that his lying down might be his best position.

A few years later he was in a hospital getting wisdom teeth removed. That he was sensitive to anesthesia he had made clear to them, but they didn't listen. It was supposed to be outpatient surgery. They surgery was at six in the morning. His mom was in the waiting room. They expected her to take him home after nine.

Aaron remembers the first time they tried to wake him up. A nurse called his name a few times. He opened his eyes. She was leaning over the bed next to his in the recovery room working on something as she told him it was time for him to get up. He sat up.

The next thing he remembers is hearing a nurse's voice saying his name again. He opened his eyes. His bed was surrounded by six nurses. Angles in his eyes in that light. They all were young. What more could a young man want. They asked him to sit up again. As he did he noticed that rails were up on either side of his bed now. He thought that he must have fallen on the floor the last time for there to be this much attention this time.

The next thing he remembers is the same thing again. And then again.

That evening he woke up alone in some office off of the recovery room. After lying there a while, he tried sitting up. He didn't faint. After after testing his ability to maintain consciousness for a bit, he slid his feet onto the floor. His pants were on a chair. He hung onto the gurney as he reached for them. He was just zipping them up when a nurse stick her head in the room, turned back to the recovery room and said, "He's already got his pants on."

Later he recounted this to Julie who said, "Oh, yeah. When a good looking guy is in the hospital, that can get the interest of the nurses." It had never occurred to him that healthcare professionals during the course of their work would see a patient sexually. And, of course, he had been lying down - his best position.

There were a few more dental hygienists. Getting your teeth cleaned by a woman who cradles the side of your face against her breasts to hold you steady is one of the finer things in life. Having her "accidentally" drop her instrument in your lap and then pick it up from there herself can make you hope no one walks in the room until you've had a few minutes to relax. How could that not turn into dinner and a movie? One hygienist had told him to get up from the chair and when he did gave no further instruction. So he said, "Where would you like me now?" To which she replied, "Well, Aaron. That's a tricky question."

He was six feet four inches tall and athletic, but if he went to a nightclub and stood near the door, no one approached him. But lying down - something about that worked for him. Unfortunately.

Rough Draft / Under Construction


Places, events, and situations in this story are purely fictional.
Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is coincidental.


Home | Table of Contents | It's a Path
Silence versus Patient Safety
Loyalty versus Patient Safety
The White Wall of Silence versus Patient Safety
Blacklisting Patients
Freedom of Speech for Patients
Medical Complaints - How to

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It's a path

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Site revised November 29, 2011