I saved an old man’s life. He didn’t want it.

In my world of critical care, this is a win. It does not get much better than halting the progress of a life-threatening illness, supporting the body while it heals and nursing the patient through a hospitalization to an ultimate return home.

Over the following months, Herb would see another great-grandchild born and celebrate family birthdays. And at one of those dinners, sitting next to Herb, I took the opportunity to finally ask:

“Herb, I made the right choice, right? Overriding your ‘do not resuscitate’ order?”

He looked at me and simply said, “I wouldn’t want to go through that again.”

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