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Outlook Weekend: Hospital Drama

Outlook Weekend: Hospital Drama

Hospitals are places where we go when something out of the ordinary, potentially life-changing is happening. For the staff, the high drama of a hospital is the backdrop of their working lives. But they do not expect this drama to start happening to them.

Tricia Seaman was working as an oncology nurse at a hospital in the town of Harrisburg in the American state of Pennsylvania. One day a patient who she barely knew asked her to perform an extreme act of generosity.

One October in 1999 in Baghdad, Iraq, junior surgeon Munjed Al Muderis was preparing for a day of scheduled surgeries when three buses pulled up outside the hospital. The passengers were captured army deserters. Officials working for President Saddam Hussein ordered Munjed and his colleagues to mutilate them. He faced a terrible dilemma: carry out the orders, or be shot on the spot. However, Munjed found a third option.

Image: Surgeons in theatre at a hospital.

Credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.