Dirty Work by Gabriel Weston
Nancy is an ObGyn doctor, but hasn’t been one for very long. Something awful has happened. There was a surgery, thought to be routine, which turned out disastrous. There was blood and more blood. She didn’t know what to do. Another doctor had to come in and make sure the woman didn’t die. Now Nancy must face a tribunal to determine whether or not she can still be employed at the hospital.
Nancy recalls other things in her life. She was in school. She had a mother. She used to provide abortions to women who justified their reasons, just as she justified her reasons for doing abortions. She reasoned that she wasn’t asked, she just did it when she was told to do it. She did early abortions and some a little later, but she never did late-term abortions. She didn’t know if she could do it.
She hopes that she will still be able to be a doctor.
What I liked
I do like that this book tackles what happens when a doctor makes a mistake. Doctors have bad days too and those bad days can end lives, but it’s not like the doctor meant to do it. Should an entire career be ruined because of a mistake? It’s a question of ethics of course.
What I didn’t like
I kind of feel like this book is just trying to champion abortion, or at least in part it is. Look, I’ve said it before–I think abortions should be legal; I don’t want women dying in back alleys because they were trying to get an illegal abortion. I don’t want women who have been raped having to carry a baby to term. I also don’t want abortion to be used as a birth control method. There should probably be a middle-ground, maybe we’ll get there some day.
I did feel that there was some ethical dilemmas that the main character faced. I think she tried to tell herself that providing abortions couldn’t affect her, but I think it did to a degree.
I kind of feel like the main character was really cold. She seemed a little inhuman, but that may just be my take on it.
Doctors make mistakes just like normal people.
What would you do if your doctor made a mistake?
Should doctors be held accountable for mistakes?