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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}

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Part 5: The hidden history

What in heaven’s name brought you to Casablanca?

My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.

What waters? We’re in the desert.

I was misinformed. (From Casablanca)

"I’ll go,” decides Dr Killthere. “You wait here for the results of the lab. Stay away from everyone until you have the results.”

Sarah nods and tells the young medical student who just started working at the department a week ago, “Maybe we can discuss some other patients and evaluate your first experiences. In the daily hectic existence we often don’t have time to do that properly. And anyway, you and I have been to Mrs Lee’s room, so you’ve been exposed.”

While the others disperse, Sarah pours another cup of coffee.

“Who is Young Claire?” the student asks.

“That’s a sad story. History never says it’s sorry, nor does it say, what if. She just turned 26 and obviously won’t be getting older. Just before her 20th birthday she was diagnosed with MS. Absurdly young. And in her case the disease was not planning to stick to the patterns in the Five-minute neurology consult textbook on your PDA. The course of MS is supposed to be capricious, with episodes of strong decline but also with periods of reasonable stability. Not in her case; MS proved to be a highway to hell. No mercy. In the first years her parents lovingly took care of her, and her elder sister as well. For the parents to witness her decline was almost unbearable, but the love of parents for their children is unconditional. Not always the other way around, but that …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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