Thoughts before FY1

Patient Confidentiality is an Illusion

 

Let me hide behind this flimsy curtain and revel in all your secrets. Let my voice resonate throughout the ward like a trumpet blast. Let me chatter on about your depression and the recent loss of your son; your long history of unemployment and your feelings of hopelessness and despair.

Let me speak about your struggles in a corner brimming full with strangers; of your difficulty walking to the bathroom, of your incontinence, of your loss of independence. Let the whole world listen to your life story as you are left on display to be gawked and stared.

Let me shout loudly down the phone a mere metre from your presence, bellowing your blood results, your HIV test, the signs of Pneumonia upon your Chest X Ray.

Let me leave your medical history shining bright upon a computer screen, a glow that beckons strangers amidst the chaos of the hospital bay. Let the very recesses of your body be left open within our corridors for everyone to dissect; every detail of your life story left unguarded upon our open screens.

Let me have a ‘quick chat’ with your family in the heart of our hospital corridor; let our conversation float over tides of strangers and friends, bowed heads over shoulders as if they cannot hear.

Let me discuss your worries and fears like a paper aeroplane thrown around the office floor. Let me grumble within the side room with the entire hospital population outside the open door.

Let me moan about your complex needs, your difficulty to bleed, your stubbornness to fight off infection in the centre of the canteen.

Let my voice rise over commuters heads on my train ride home, my curt walk and formal dress giving rise to my profession. Let me chuckle as I discuss your medical history while dining in the best restaurant in town, let me unleash a sigh over my dessert as I talk about your end of life care with your niece sitting two tables by.

Let me forget how your hospital stay is but a chapter within a story; that every life is filled with secrets to which I have been granted a sacred key. Let me forget the loudness of my voice, the arrogance of my saunter, the secrecy of disease, the shame behind every illness.

Let me take away your identity the minute you walk through our open door.  

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