Doctor: “why I visit Facebook profile of my dead patients”

An American doctor who works at the emergency department always looks at the Facebook profile of his deceased patients before informing the parents. In an emotional post on LinkedIn he reveals his motives and leaves no one untouched.

Louis Profeta works at the St. Vincent hospital in Indianapolis. He saves lives there, but he cannot save some (young) people.

For parents it is the worst thing that can happen to them: losing a child. Their lives collapse from one moment to the next and will never be as before.

Also, for doctors who have to bring the bad news, it is far from easy to deal with this. Profeta has his own way. In a catchy letter that is addressed to the deceased patients, he explains how he works.

“You see, I am about to change their lives – the life of your mother and father. In about five minutes they will never be the same people again, they will never be happy again”, he writes on LinkedIn.

“At that moment – to be honest – you are simply an anonymous body with no life left. It does not tell me anything about your dreams or ambitions. I owe it to them to get to know you before I go in.”

“On Facebook, I see your smile, or how you should laugh. I see the colour of your eyes when they are filled with life. I see how you have fun on the beach, how you blow out candles on your birthday, how you celebrate Christmas with the family. Oh, and you also have a Maltese.

“I also see your parents in photo. All right, I know exactly who they are when I step into the room. It makes it so easy for me that I have to ask a question less.

“Actually, you are still a bit lucky that you should not see this. Your father screams your name again and again, your mother collapses and is curled up on the ground, holding her hand over her head as if trying to protect herself from something invisible.”

At the end of the emotional letter, the doctor decides: “I will go to your Facebook page before telling you that you are dead, because it reminds me that I am talking about a person – about someone they love dearly.”

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