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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. 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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I’ll be back! (From The Terminator)

“Oh my God …”

Gwen’s words fade away while Ishmael polishes like Ishmael polishes, thoroughly, humming the James Bond theme Live and Let Die.

Sarah doesn’t pay attention to Gwen. “Excuse me, but I really have to leave. I have a patient waiting and I can’t stay till you decide whether or not to call Gordon, or to wait and see whether he does or doesn’t come by immediately. Tell me later …” Sarah, decisive as always, leaves the meeting room. The clicking of her heels sounds vitriolic.

As she passes the counter Gwen grabs her arm. “Oscar died.” Her rasping voice is filled with mourning.

Sarah looks baffled: “Oscar? Oscar who?”

“Our goldfish!” Gwen is shocked by so much ignorance on Sarah’s part. The shock turns into anger when Sarah, irritated, makes a throw-away gesture and walks into the patient room.

“How are you, Mrs Saunders?” Sarah always feels at ease with patients immediately. They are the reason she chose to become a doctor. Well, one of the reasons. The most important one lies hidden deep in her heart, a treasure (or wound) not to be found. Pretending is not one of her talents, so her cordiality is real.

Mrs Saunders doesn’t beat around the bush. “Have you talked to my brother?”

As usual, Sarah is well-prepared for the conversation. Particularly this conversation. Mrs Saunders is for one part an ordinary woman, living her unspectacular life, simply feeling happy in Dapper Street, but on the other hand she is a special woman, with kidney failure. Sarah answers …

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  • Competing interests: None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review: Commissioned; not externally peer reviewed

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