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Doctor Shares Heartbreaking Reason Why He Checks Dead Patients' Facebook Profiles

Doctor Shares Heartbreaking Reason Why He Checks Dead Patients' Facebook Profiles

Having to tell a parent that their child has died is without doubt one of the most difficult and heartbreaking jobs there is.

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In a candid post one doctor has opened up about the impact that news can have and why he now looks at the Facebook profiles of dead patients before delivering the devastating news to their families.

Doctor Louis M Profeta, who works at St Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, says he checks the profiles of those who have died to remind himself that they were people with lives.

The emergency physician went on LinkedIn and admitted to looking into the personal lives of his patients.

He wrote: "It kind of keeps me human. You see, I'm about to change their lives - your mom and dad, that is. In about five minutes, they will never be the same, they will never be happy again.

Dr Profeta says looking at their social media profiles helps keep him human. Credit: PA
Dr Profeta says looking at their social media profiles helps keep him human. Credit: PA
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"Right now, to be honest, you're just a nameless dead body that feels like a wet bag of newspapers that we have been pounding on, sticking IV lines and tubes and needles in, trying desperately to save you.

"There's no motion, no life, nothing to tell me you once had dreams or aspirations. I owe it to them to learn just a bit about you before I go in."

Dr Profeta says in the aftermath he is angry with them for having died, whether it was because they were 'texting instead of watching the road' or 'snorting drugs for the first time', he says the chances are it wasn't their time to go and they are lucky not to have to witness the aftermath.

In his emotional post he says a lot of time he is angry with the people who have died because 'it wasn't their time'. Credit: PA
In his emotional post he says a lot of time he is angry with the people who have died because 'it wasn't their time'. Credit: PA

He said: "So I pick up your faded picture of your driver's license and click on my iPhone, flip to Facebook and search your name. Chances are we'll have one mutual friend somewhere. I know a lot of people.

"I see you wearing the same necklace and earrings that now sit in a specimen cup on the counter, the same ball cap or jacket that has been split open with trauma scissors and pulled under the backboard, the lining stained with blood. Looks like you were wearing it to the U2 concert. I heard it was great."

He added: "I check your Facebook page before I tell them you're dead because it reminds me that I am talking about a person, someone they love - it quiets the voice in my head that is screaming at you right now shouting: 'You mother f****r, how could you do this to them, to people you are supposed to love!'"

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Interesting, US News

Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]

 

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