Medicine: Patients' Rights

The surgeon's behavior was routine.

Bustling through rounds recently at a Manhattan teaching hospital, he ignored the questions of the young woman recovering from surgery, drew back the bedclothes and proceeded to explain her condition and the operation performed to correct it to his entourage of residents and interns. But there was nothing typical about the patient's angry reaction. She snatched the sheet out of the amazed doctor's hand and pulled it up to her chin. "No peeking unless you answer my question," she said. "I'm a patient, damn it, not a case." The surgeon finally complied.

Dignity. Many people leave hospitals distressed...

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