1986 BMJ Personal View

This piece was written during House Jobs. I had been on call for three days with almost no sleep. I still remember my tears when, as I dared to sink onto the bed on the third night, my bleep sounded. I sedated an elderly confused woman instead of finding out the cause of her confusion and helping her. I still feel shame, though do not blame myself. I suppose that I would call this self-compassion now. I was shocked at how easy it is, with sleep deprivation, to alter someone’s priorities.

West A. (1986) Personal View. British Medical Journal 293, 754.

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