5 comments on “Acknowledging Death in the ER

  1. Really great work Nadim!! Sort of surprising that this sort of thing has not been done before or is not being practised anywhere. The statistics are sobering. I think that each and every thing that can offer dignity to patients – in a generalized undignified environment is a real plus. I believe that detachment/compartmentalization can be effective for coping in the short term but not the long term, – not unlike Ventolin for rescue, but needing ultimately steroids to treat the underlying problem. In the end, we need to add humanness to our work, not dehumanizing. The loss of a life – is so much more than the loss of a body. Even if we did not know his or her story, s/he had one. Ritual offers humanity, dignity and acknowledgement to that story, to that soul.

    • Ya Vicki! You’re right – I really believe that providers close their hearts NOT because we DON’T care, but rather because we do care… it’s too much to become emotionally attached. But … we need to strike a balance and we need to learn how to handle these emotions – amongst other reasons – in order to negate what others have called “empathy leak” [stay tuned for future post]. Talking about it is a great start for a culture steeped in not talking about “the sacred” and focusing solely on “the mundane”.

      • 100% agreed! I have been doing some reading lately on that which amplies our feelings of ‘separateness’ from one another in society. This simple ritual, I believe, can serve to not only offer dignity to the deceased, but to remind those us present that we are community. I am about to launch in to a book entitled The Ascent of Humanity by Charles Eisenstein (although admittedly, i did not know it was so big when I ordered it off Amazon!) It is a book about how human crisises are grounded in the sense of our separateness from one another. I believe that the ritual you have offer through your study is a ritual of connection and in that – community.

  2. Pingback: Conversation on Having a Moment of Silence « LipheLongLurnERdok

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