diary of an autopsy

Sliced liver, anyone? “The first public autopsy in Britain for 170 years brought back vivid memories of medical school – and an acute sense of hunger – for the Guardian’s junior doctor Michael Foxton.”

“The process of dismemberment is a deeply weird and dysphoric experience, and it is a dangerous border to cross. I remember the first time I had to do it, as a medical student in an operating theatre. It was a man with stomach cancer, who I had been talking to on the ward the morning before his operation. When the surgeon brought his knife down to make the first cut on his belly, it was everything I could do to stop myself reaching out and grabbing his hand to stop him. Doctors have to cross that line. We have to separate the thinking, smiling, family man from the clinical material. If I hadn’t done that I couldn’t possibly cut a hole and force a huge chest drain tube a centimetre across into a writhing patient on a respiratory ward at three in the morning, without going mad.”
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