Liver transplant surgeon, author, and The New York Times columnist Pauline W Chen suggests doctors and nurses should be obliged to pause for silent reflection when someone they are treating dies.
It would be good for them, she says, and may make them better carers. On hospital wards, in the operating room, in clinics and in the intensive care units, there should be a mandatory five-minute silence when a patient dies.
In my experience, there's a moment right after the patient dies when most caregivers, particularly doctors, will scatter – if not in presence then in mind. We immediately think about going to see the next patient, cleaning the room, getting the body ready to go to the mortuary.
Anything to avoid confronting the reality before us because, for those of us who practice in wealthier countries, a patient who dies represents our professional failure.
She believes that one reason we don't do a better job caring for the dying is that we hardly ever acknowledge our own responses to those who have died. I appeal to doctors' community of Pakistan to welcome her worthwhile suggestion.