Long after we lose count of our good deeds, what remains with us is often a list of those we couldn’t save. Our “failings” can haunt us, a reminder of our fallible nature. We don’t give ourselves the benefit of the doubt, about the care taken to try, simply try to save it. Surely we must be responsible for what we couldn’t accomplish. Letting go of that idea and accept that despite our best efforts there will always be some we cannot save, can in turn save us.
Dr. Kaplan of UCLA discusses one of his patients who, despite above and beyond care down to the last stitch, died. His death was not the whole story though. As the article weaves the story the reader learns that the meticulous care given by this doctor extended to his desire to leave a perfect scar in the hopes of “restoring what once was.” Even after infections and complications led a long battle that resulted in the patient’s death, that same care was given each day.
Many might wonder what the point is. After all, it’s just a scar, the real importance is what happened underneath it. Yes and no. The scar is what remains, it is a constant reminder of what was lost, what was gained and how it changed them. Dr. Kaplan treated the wound with respect because it was something that they would always carry with them and that philosophy is how each discipline should practice. Respect for the last stitch. Honor the scar and what it means, and each patient regardless of whether they can be saved, will be better for it.
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