Thursday, August 06, 2009

PC Hospice

I thought this passage from "Love Walked In" by Marisa de los Santos was hillarious. The book has nothing to do with end of life issues (so far) but the main character's brother-in-law works in the field, so to speak.

"Are you a surgeon?" asked Clare, a little out of breath just from watching him.
Teo laughed. "If surgeons cut like this, they wouldn't stay surgeons for long. No, I specialize in therapeutic radiology."
"What does that mean? X-rays?"
"He's an oncologist," said Cornelia, walking up and popping a carrot piece in her mouth. "He treats cancer patients. He just doesn't like to say it."
"But treating cancer patients is good," said Clare.
"Sure it's good, but saying the word 'cancer' can put quite a damper on a dinner party. I've seen it happen. 'Pull up another chair, dear, death just showed up!" said Cornelia.
"It's like a magic spell. You say it, and instantly everyone around you gets depressed, "said Teo, chopping up a Chinese sausage effortlessly, like someone signing his name or shuffling a deck of cards.

Therapeutic radiology. I love it! Is there some PC term for those that work in hospice? I think we can all relate to the dead air that occurs after we tell someone our profession.

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