Re: The Dead Truth: Paramedics now trained to be straightforward when delivering bad news to patients' loved ones (page A1, Sunday).
I teach corporations in communication techniques and found the article very interesting.
Four years ago, I was waiting for
my husband in Arizona when a state trooper called me to say my husband was in a serious motorcycle accident in Nevada.
On the phone, the trooper reassured me that despite the number of his serious injuries, he was confident my husband would live. What a relief.
He gave the phone number of the hospital where the ambulance had taken him and I called immediately.
"My name is Myrna Park, I understand my husband has been admitted to your hospital and I am calling to check on him."
There was a moment's silence.
"I am sorry but Mr. Park is no longer with us."
I collapsed into the chair and stuttered, "The trooper said he thought he would live?"
"Oh, yes," the nurse added, "He is not with us, we have medi-vaced him to the Reno Trauma Centre."
Clear language would have been helpful in this situation.