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Feeling overwhelmed with self-guilt for failing to save lives

A doctor visited Tzu Chi and mentioned about the huge responsibility and great pressure of being a doctor. He was left with self-blame and guilt sometimes when patients pass away……


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(Photo by Chen Ya Yin) 

A doctor visited Tzu Chi and mentioned about the tremendous responsibility and great pressure of being a doctor. He was left with self-blame and guilt sometimes when patients pass away despite all his efforts. The sense of guilt and grief was so overwhelming that it caused him a number of sleepless nights.   

The Master answers:

All good doctors share the same feeling. It is the common wish of doctors to save lives and help patients recover from illness. Do your best is the right attitude. Bear in mind that you have tried your best when the patient could not be saved. This is beyond your ability, there is nothing you can do even if the ones in the surgery theatre were your dearest parents. You can only pray for them and hope for the best. Every good doctor is a living Buddha to his patient, every Buddha hopes to save people from suffering. Likewise, no doctor would willingly give up on saving lives. Therefore, you can only pray for the patient after you have tried your best.