To induce asystole as needed

Michael Gritti is a medical student in the Class of 2019 at the University of Toronto

 

 

“To induce asystole as needed.”
Looking the decision in the face
wasn't as simple as I'd thought, I conceded.
But, simply, was it right? Was it just?

Eighty millimoles of potassium chloride:
in five minutes it was all over.
I tried to hide my emotions,
but I was uneasy about today’s decision.

When? Where? Who was to be around?
What time of day?
“Morning will be better,” she said.
“You won't have to wait and think about decay.”

I nodded, normalizing. I'd be on the team;
the team that would catch him before death,
as that is what he wanted.
At least he maid his own choice.

Rereading the preformed order set:
“To induce asystole as needed.”
I stared. Thought to myself,
trying to define as needed.

Uneasy. Unsure. Unsettled.
But it was right, right? His fate?
Laid to rest by his own choice.
This was definitely no ethics debate…