Who Do We Save?

Trauma anesthesia is a whole different game – you never know what could roll through the door at a moment’s notice. Some patients are innocent victims of car accidents, crossfire, or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Others were injured while engaging in criminal activity. As physicians, we’re trained to treat both of the aforementioned groups with the best possible care, regardless of the circumstances. There’s a part of me which used to struggle with this.

Why do we spend countless dollars and resources to save those who were harming society in the first place? This notion has crossed my mind on several occasions as a resident, but the more I think about it, the more I try to remain neutral. After all, who am I to judge who and who shouldn’t get the best care? Everyone should. It’s why they come to us!

I tell myself that whatever set of skills and knowledge I learn from a case (no matter what the patient’s background) could help me better care for a future patient. This rationalization alone has significantly improved my previous struggles in caring for instigators of violence.

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