Breaking Bad News to Loved Ones: Article by Dr. Rabia Yaseen [Jinnah Sindh Medical University]

Breaking Bad News to Loved Ones requires a strong heart: Article by Dr. Rabia Yaseen [Jinnah Sindh Medical University]


It was my second day of electives at Resuscitation centre of Jinnah Hospital, Karachi and almost all the beds were equipped with critically ill patients who were in dire need of resuscitation.

I came close to a bed where Cardiopulmonary resuscitation(CPR) was being performed on the patient and that was also my first experience of breaking the bad news( death news) to the patient’s relatives; with my shattered heart of lively watching the patient taking his last breaths during the whole procedure of resuscitation, the eyes of his sons and wife filled with hope that resuscitation may save him and their only breadwinner will get well soon. But life is so uncertain and death is so unpredictable.

Yes, the patient lost his battle of life and death leaving behind his loved ones. Though, it could be a normal news for someone who takes it as an everyday news but for a medical student who happened to watch the patient taking his last breaths, fighting a battle of life and death and had to think of some consoling words to break the bad news to the expired patient’s relatives was quite a tough task because the doctors who were there at the moment had immediately left the patient without breaking the bad news so as to prepare the death certificate of the patient.

I still remember the light of hope diminished in the eyes of relatives when I told them their loved one has expired. I still remember they initially got into a state of shock staring blankly at the haunting hospital walls surrounding the expired patient’s bed. I still remember they bursted out in tears after listening this news.

May be because this moment of disbelief is a part of human nature when we lose control over things happening around us.

The expired patient’s relatives still asking him to open his eyes broke my heart into pieces. Lastly, when I left the emergency department with my friend we realised that we have no option but to remain strong as this is going to be a part of our medical profession and for that we must need to control our emotions yet not become heartless at the same time.



hospital medical ventilator




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