A young girl was brought in by ambulance after being involved in an argument with her boyfriend and attempting to cut her throat with a knife. Yet another of the many suicidal patients we have seen lately.
When her father arrived, he told her to get her things together because they were leaving.
“Ummmm … sir … you can’t do that. She’s going to require admission for psychiatric evaluation.”
“The hell she is. Not in this place.”
“She needs to be hospitalized.”
“Listen. You waited on my wife last year. You diagnosed her with a throat infection and gave her antibiotics. Two days later the side of her face swolled up like this (cupping his hand against the side of his face as if holding a softball against his cheek). We went to the chiropractor and he said that you damn near killed her. He had to give her a stronger antibiotic to cure her [I know, chiropractors can’t prescribe medications – it didn’t make sense to me, either]. So you’ll have to excuse me if I just don’t trust your judgment.”
“Sir, it is beyond me what this has to do with a determination as to whether your homicidal daughter requires hospitalization for psychiatric evaluation when she has Exacto knife lacerations mere millimeters from her internal carotid arteries.”
“You just don’t get it, do you?”
I was going to answer him, but I was hitting the rewind and play buttons in my brain to see if I missed something. I wanted to “get it.” I just must have missed something. What did I miss?
“We are never coming to this hospital again. You hear me? Never.”
“Oh come now. I wish you’d reconsider.”
“Honey, call the lawyer … now.”
Dammit. My logic circuits – they appear to be jammed. Now I’m going to get a patient complaint and get sued? What did I do? Ah, nevermind.
“Sue, can you call the police and have them come down here?”
“Fine … she’ll stay. But we’re still calling the lawyer. We have rights, you know.”
Two minutes later a couple of officers walk into the room.
The patient’s father sat in a chair and got a short lecture from the po po.
“He shouldn’t give you any more problems, doc,” said one of the officers as they walked back out of the ED. “If he does, just give us a call.”
Did I mention how much easier the police make things for us in our department? Those packages of Christmas cookies are worth every penny.
Our police force rocks.