The patiently waiting patient

Essay by BILLMANCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2008

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Waiting is one of the most difficult characteristics of life. We wait for the bus to come; we wait for class to start; we wait while someone is in the bathroom ahead of us; we wait for the dough to rise. Wait, wait, wait, wait, and wait.

All this waiting requires a great deal of patience. I have heard patience described as, the ability to live peaceably with situations or people we do not like. I can buy that definition. This sort of waiting, with patience, makes all of life so much easier when we can actually achieve it.

This patience needs to be examined, however. Sure, it is a necessary part of most processes. And it of primary importance when dealing with the sorts of processes surrounding many of the events and conditions encountered in the hospital setting. How could we say otherwise? Decisions that affect our life and death, and the lives of all around us, cannot be taken lightly.

Dilemmas such as experienced in cases of terminal illness tear me apart intellectually. All such moral problems do, as I suppose is the same for many, if not all, people. I try to have a consistent worldview. Sometimes this is easy. For instance, part of my worldview consists of the belief that human life is special, more so than any other life Earth. Being made in the image of God, placed as stewards of this planet and each of its inhabitants, comes with great responsibilities as well as privileges. Thus, it follows that I believe human life is to be protected at all costs and in all cases. Often the decisions to be made following this worldview are no-brainers. Abortion, for instance. Wrong in all cases; a no-brainer. In no instance does abortion not destroy a...