A Simple Dilemma
Dr Vernon Coleman
I was talking to a very serious, pompous and rather patronising young GP.
`I miss having a medical licence,’ I said. `It means that in an emergency I can’t get hold of a few antibiotic tablets.’
She frowned at me. `But you don’t have any patients do you?’
I admitted that I did not.
`So who would you want the antibiotics for?’
`For my wife or myself, a relative or a friend.’
`That’s illegal,’ she said. `A doctor isn’t supposed to treat himself or a relative.’
`That’s true,’ I nodded. `But occasionally, in an emergency…’
`Not even then,’ she said dogmatically. `Never. It would be quite improper.’
`Do you have a child?’ I asked her.
`Three,’ she said, `A girl aged five, and twins aged two.’
`It’s half past ten on a Saturday night,’ I said. `One of your children wakes up screaming with earache. All he needs is an antibiotic. You’ve got a supply of what you need in your black bag. Outside it’s raining heavily. And it’s freezing cold. Your car has a flat battery. The nearest accident and emergency department is thirty miles away. It will be full of drunks and accident victims. Non-urgent patients will have to wait seven or eight hours to be seen. What do you do?’
Copyright Vernon Coleman December 2021
Vernon Coleman’s international bestselling book called `How to stop your doctor killing you’ is available as a paperback and an eBook.