Monday, September 26, 2011

The Whole Truth

Quite a few years ago in Lotus city I was on call for Orthopedics at the Jubilee Hospital. They called about a newly arrived patient with a fracture that needed to be seen. It was a case that needed seeing that evening but not a real emergency. There was an upcoming program on TV I was anxious to see and I looked at my watch and knew if I hustled down, then I could be back in time for my program. On the drive to the hospital I heard a siren behind me and pulled over. The policeman came to my window and said "Do you know how fast you were going in a 50k zone"? "No', I said. "Sir", he said, "You were doing 75k. What's the emergency?" I said, "I'm a doctor and I was going to the Jubilee Emergency department. "Can I see your licence"? he asked. After examining it he took out his phone and called his dispatcher. "Find out if Dr. J Warren is expected at Jubilee Emergency", he asked. The dispatcher confirmed that was the case. "Follow me doc", he said, and put his lights and siren on and we wheeled off to the hospital! When I parked he waved and left! When I went in to the "emerg", I felt sheepish! Worse, I took advantage of someone! The staff knew and I knew! I didn't lie to the policeman. I told the truth and I told nothing but the truth, but I didn't tell the whole truth. I could have told him, " I was hurrying to see a patient that needs seeing, but not urgently". I can't tell why I remember little things like this, but it is a form of a lie when we leave out the bits that round out the truth and fail to tell it like it really is!

1 comment:

  1. The point is the patient was required to be seen before the evening was over and from that view an emergency existed. Certainly not of life but of limb and had the police man given you a ticket and asked you to go to the station to check you out then your patient would not have been seen in time.
    It was an emergency but you chose to drive faster than needed, that was the lesson , not the emergency care needed itself