Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Adverse Reaction

A news story came out yesterday about a mistake at a North Carolina hospital. A patient infected with a deadly neurological disorder, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, or “CJD” was operated on, and the staff, not knowing at the time that the patient had this disease, did not go the extra mile in disinfecting the instruments used on him or her. Apparently, in the world of disinfecting surgical instruments, like car washes, there are “good,” “better,” and “best” levels of clean. Had they known about the patient’s condition, we are told they would have sprung for the under-carriage wash and clear coat rather than the standard wash and wax.

Because of this, 18 successive patients underwent surgery at that hospital with those same instruments used on them. Once the issue had been realized, calls were made to each of those 18 patients that went something like this:

We hope you’re feeling better. By the way, there was a mistake in the back and you were exposed to a deadly brain disease which you may or may not actually “get.” It typically takes 20-30 years to develop, occurs in most patients around the age of 60, and most of them die within four months of the first symptom. There is no cure and it is 100% terminal. We’re really sorry about this and are offering lifetime monitoring for you and the other 17 patients affected.

I’m paraphrasing but that’s an idea of the call each of these people received. What would your first (and second and third) reaction be? Anger? Sadness? Fear? Regret? Would you keep a calm head and continue living out your days just like you had been doing? Or would you tell your boss off and take off for Europe?

“I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”
Maya Angelou          

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 
James 1:2-4

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me. 
Phillipians 4:12-13