Honouring choices — life postmortem
A superb legacy is offered by a woman’s life cut short — her healthy organs
More disquieting, surgical theatres depersonalise. When a person’s essence is reduced to a view of naked innards, neatly framed by sterile blue drapes, is it hostile to replace a cordial introductory handshake with a firm grip on their viscera? Although operations are consensual and intended to improve life, a thought lingers — who is the person on the operating table?
Even so, to a young intern, being invited to assist in theatre on my surgical rotation was a treat. Surgeons declare clinical convictions by steel blade, inflicting wounds to repair health. Such courage requires formidable confidence and arduous training. The surgeon’s reward is to command a theatre which, highly structured and intentionally austere, affords a protecting veil to facilitate their work.