Medical Ethics and Doctor’s Office Pamphlets

One of my first dates with my wife was interrupted when I got a piece of beef stuck in my throat. I could breathe, but not swallow. When the paramedics arrived, I asked them to wait in the lobby while I walked out to my date, handed her my keys, and explained that I was about to go for a little ride in an ambulance.

I took some pills, switched my favorite summer beverage from lemonade to unsweetened ice tea, and my throat has been fine ever since.

Recently I was with my wife in an examination room, when she asked me to pick up this booklet from a rack.

Here, a bespectacled doctor listens attentively, his pen hovering over a clipboard, while the patient describes the discomfort in her throat. I noted with approval that the models on the cover are ethnic and realistic, rather than photoshopped, technology-enhanced simulacra.

Then I noticed something odd about another booklet on the same rack:
We see another side of the doctor, mid-snore, looking rather less professional and confident.  Lying next to him in bed, her head propped up on one elbow, is the acid reflux patient, now suffering from sleep deprivation, and apparently having second thoughts about their relationship.

My wife pointed out that the cover on the left *could* represent the doctor examining his own wife, but that’s just a different kind of conflict of interest.

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