Compassion: “…to put ourselves in somebody else’s shoes, to feel her pain as though it were our own, and to enter generously into his point of view. Compassion can be defined, therefore, as an attitude of principled, consistent altruism.”~ Karen Armstrong from Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life.
I went on a home visit today and found the client, who was discharged from hospital five days ago, in a state of complete and utter despair. Because of bureaucracy and budget cuts, her case worker has to wait a week before presenting this client’s basic quality of care needs to a manager. And even then, there is no guarantee she will get services.
I find it appalling that qualified healthcare professionals have to justify why a handicapped client sitting in her own bodily functions needs help. Unfortunately, it’s the higher-ups sitting in their offices that wield the power. I’m not saying they’re all without empathy. But there is a necessary detachment that is only possible as one moves up the management ladder, further away from the human story.
I truly wish it were the other way around. A process whereby deciding to veto services makes THEM accountable to the client. And while they’re explaining things to the client, to my client, might as well hand her that box of Kleenex as she weeps in humiliation.
I did not do a physiotherapy evaluation today. Instead, I held out a box of Kleenex and rummaged for facecloths and towels and garbage bags. I cleaned up a mess that started out as a rumour and is now a big fat lie.
I’ll probably get in trouble for this post. I don’t care. The Hippocratic oath I took years ago trumps any loyalty I may have to my employer.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I will not be silent about things that matter.