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Eyewitness in Erewhon Academic Hospital
  1. I de Beaufort,
  2. F Meulenberg
  1. Erasmus MC/University Medical Center, Department of Medical Ethics and Philosophy of Medicine, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Inez de Beaufort, Erasmus MC/University Medical Center, Department of Medical Ethics and Philosophy of Medicine, PO Box 2040, NL - 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands; i.debeaufort{at}erasmusmc.nl

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Part 3: Animal farmers

It doesn’t take a great actor to recognise a bad one. (From Galaxy Quest)

“What are you doing here? Isn’t it your day off today?”

The eyes of Gwen’s colleague Jake Cummings restlessly dart from one side to the other. He is stuck, and he knows it. No escape. Different possible explanations cross his mind as to why, on his day off, he finds himself caught red-handed at the well-guarded drug storage closet. He can think of many explanations (“the magnetism of work,” “I sleepwalk,” “This is where I keep my Playboy magazines,” “I just wanted to refill my Viagra stock”), but none of them sounds the least bit convincing. Not even to his own ears.

In fact, Gwen likes him. At high school his nickname had been Jake “Clumsy” Cummings, but in the hospital he proved that having resolute hands is a must when taking care of patients.

“I, I …” The stammering start of the sentence gets no sequel.

Gwen blocks the door, her thin frame quite threatening, hands on her hips. “Oh, my god, you’re a bad actor, I can tell you that. Well? Do I get an answer?”

Worries are buzzing in the head of Sarah Redlock. Worries, uncertainties and doubts, a trinity that accompanies her incessantly; they were even more or less decisive in her choice to become a doctor. Where is Gwen with the paracetamol? For a moment, she considers walking to the storage room herself, but then she changes her mind.

With firm steps she walks to the staff room and with the special key, for doctors on duty only, she opens the door to the small telephone room. There is the bicoloured phone, …

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