Doing the right thing

I was in line, registering to have lab done in preparation for my coming annual physical, and the person in front of me asked if the lab would send her a copy of her result to her in addition to the ordering physician. 

She explained quite politely that she would not be seeing the ordering physician for another 3 months, that she had appointments with out-of-town specialists in the interim and wanted to make sure that they had the results before her visits, and that she liked to review and investigate her results so she could better ask intelligent questions when she was at the doctor.

The response blew me away:  “That sounds like a great idea, but I can’t. You see, if we do it for you, we have to do it for everyone.”

Umm, yes.  I wanted to ask: “Did you hear what you just said? You said it is the right thing to do, but you won’t do it for her because then you would have to do the right thing for others.”

If it is the right thing, it should be done for her - and for everyone. If it is not the right thing, it should not be done - because it is not the right thing, but NOT because you would have to do it for others.

(This anecdote was related to me by a patient this week as a suggestion for my blog. Thank you very much.) 



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