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Mercy, Witness, and Imelda - Essay Example

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Selzer’s three essays under consideration in Letters to a Young Doctor deal with the theme of love or compassion and the essays convince the readers of the role played by love, compassion, commitment, professionalism and trust in medical decisions. The essays clearly…
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Mercy, Witness, and Imelda
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Mercy, Witness, and Imelda

While in “Mercy” the mother and the old woman in the essay considers the death of the patient as a jewel to them, the family members of the patients in “Witness," and “Imelda" are epitomes of human compassion and love. This paper seeks to explore how doctors and family members deal with the consequences of their decisions that may or may not be based on love.
One can understand that the doctor in all the three essays is moved by compassion and love towards the patients as well as their family members; there is no doubt that this has added more charm to his personal and medical profession. In both “Mercy” and “Witness” the doctor displays immense amount of compassion and love towards the patients whereas in “Imelda" the professor undergoes considerable transformation after Imelda is dead. In “Mercy”, the doctor observes that there is no uncertainty for the flies when it comes to death whereas humans lack such fraternity and everyone is left alone to suffer. The doctor in the essay is totally compassionate towards the 42 year old patient who suffers from a cancer of the pancreas in the abdomen. The doctor desperately promises that he will not let the patient suffer and will get him out of the pain. However, the doctor at this juncture knows for certain that “there is no way to kill the pain without killing the man who owns it” (Selzer 71). Finally, at the instigation of the women, he decides to put an end to the life of the patient by pressing on the larynx (windpipe) of the patient. However, he is moved by his medical ethics and compassion towards the patient that he realises soon that he is not supposed to do the cruel deed. Similarly, in “Witness” one can experience the compassionate attitude of the doctor towards the patient and his loving father. The doctor is extremely moved by the six year old patient who suffers from tumour. He knows that “the baby ... Read More
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