One of the worst moments you can face in your life is losing a loved one, but don’t forget that it also affects doctors who have to break the news to the patient’s friends and family. An Emergency Physician at St. Vincent Emergency Physicians in Indianapolis, Indiana, Louis M. Profeta MD, recently decided to share the reason on Linkedin why he looks into patient’s Facebook account before telling their parent’s they’ve passed away.
The post title, “I’ll Look at Your Facebook Profile Before I Tell Your Mother You’re Dead,” has attracted a lot of attention on Linkedin, and gained a lot of likes and comments.
“It is kind of keeps me feel human,” said Profeta. “You see, I’m about to change your mom and dad’s life. In a few minutes, they will never feel the same, they will never be filled with joy again.”
“at this moment, you’re no more than a nameless dead body that feels like a wet bag of newspapers, to be honest, sticking IV lines and tubes and needles in your body, desperately trying to save your life. There’s no life what’s so ever, no motion, nothing that could tell me that perhaps you also had dreams or aspirations once. So, I owe it to your parents to learn a bit about you I go in.”
“As of right now, I am just mad at you for what you did to yourself, and what are you about to do to them. I know absolutely nothing about you, So, I owe it to your mom to peek inside of the life you used to have.”
Profeta said that a patient’s death makes him very angry:
“Maybe you were driving drunk when you should have Ubered, maybe you were texting someone when you should have watched the road. Or perhaps you tried some heroin or Xanax for the first time, or snorted a line of coke, popped a Vicodin or tried some shots of meth at the campus party.”
“Perhaps you were riding your bike with no helmet on or didn’t heed your parents’ warning when they told you to not hang out with that specific “friend,” or to be careful when coming to a four-way stop. Or maybe you just gave up.”
“Maybe it was the time you go, but chances are, it wasn’t.”
Profeta goes on to explain more on his page on Facebook:
“So, the first thing I do is pick up your driver’s license and grab my phone, search your name on Facebook and search your name, Chances are we’ll have at least one mutual friend somewhere, I know a ton of people everywhere.”
“I see you wearing something from your Facebook pics, a necklace, earrings, or even the ball cap or jacket that has been split open with trauma scissors and pulled under the backboard, the lining is now all stained with your blood. Looks like you were wearing this outfit to the U2 concert. I heard the concert was really great.”
“Now I see your smile, or at least how it should be, I see the true color of your eyes when they are filled with life, you having fun at the beach, blowing out birthday candles, Christmas at grandma’s house; oh how cute, you have a Maltese too, I see that. I see you took a picture of your mom and dad next to you in front of the sign of your college. Good, I’ll recognize them immediately when I walk in the room. It makes it even easier, that’s one more question I won’t need to ask.”
“You are really kind of lucky that you won’t have to see this. Dad screaming your name over and over in tears, poor mom pulling her hair out, sitting knees to her chest on the floor, with her hand over her head as if she’s trying to protect herself from unseen blows.”
“I check your Facebook account before I break the news to your parents, it reminds that I’m talking about a person here, someone they adore and love, it helps to quiet the voice in my head that is screaming at you right now shouting: : ‘You stupid mother f—ker, how could you cause this much pain to he people you’re supposed to love the most!'”