Empathy Needs to Be Part of the Medical Treatment

August 19, 2014 4:09 PM

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Empathy Needs to Be Part of the Medical Treatment

A friend of mine was recently hospitalized for complicated heart surgery. During the next few days following that surgery, there was a constant flow of hospital staff members coming to his bedside to check his vital signs, or his intravenous drip, or to adjust the window shades and refresh his water bottle. None of these people spoke to him other than a cursory good morning or afternoon. When his surgeon came in to check on him, he opened a laptop computer into which he entered information as he examined my friend's surgical sutures and asked various test questions to see if he was responding properly from the surgery.

In addition to residual pain from the surgery, my friend was worried about the future and could not sleep well because of all the interruptions. As the days passed, he became more and more depressed. While he seemed to be getting first rate medical treatment, nothing was being done to address his em...

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