Monday, April 11, 2016

Microstory 296: Perspective Seventy-Two

Perspective Seventy-One

I want to make it clear that I do not have an obsession with death. Most people balk when I tell them I went through eight years of education just to wind up down in a morgue. There also seems to be this belief that all MEs are antisocial jerks who are smart enough to be doctors, but don’t deal with people well. “The dead don’t talk back” and crap like that. The truth is that I didn’t start my schooling with the intention of becoming an ME. It sort of happened gradually. The more classes I took, and the more subjects I studied, the more fields I was able to eliminate from my list. When it came time to determine my specialty, this was really the only option. I consider it an honor to be the last medical professional to handle a person. These people all have different lives, with different experiences, and different perspectives. But they all end up in a place like this. Sooner or later, unless a body is never found, someone like me is asked to provide the deceased’s loved ones with the last remaining answers to their life. This job is important, even if an autopsy isn’t necessary. Somebody has to have the expertise to decide on that, and somebody has to get the body to where it’s going; its final resting place. I’ve just received a body of a young man who had so much ahead of him. I, of course, do not know the details, but there was a witness to his death. He claims that the deceased fought with another man who ended up with the upper hand. It sounds like he didn’t actually mean to kill him, but he also didn’t stick around to explain himself. The police are out looking for him, but they need me to know where to look, and what questions to ask. The murder weapon, if that’s what we end up calling it, was found at the scene. My colleagues are analyzing it, along with other evidence at the scene, to find out exactly what happened here tonight. But they need me to match their evidence with the condition of the body. My job may not be as glamorous as you see on TV (I’m lookin’ at you, CSI franchise) but it matters. Any way you slice it, I help catch criminals. Sure, I could probably be making better money as a physician, but I do all right. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Perspective Seventy-Three

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