Deathly Choice

Posted: May 17, 2014 by writingsprint in Drama
Tags: , , , , , ,

biohazardDr. Hoffman looked at the sealed tent full of bloody beds. They were running out of plasma, antibiotics, and time. He wouldn’t let the nurses in the tent. Not that it mattered. He thought they would have refused to go in anyway. Hoffman and his team, in their reinforced biohazard suits, were the only ones who would enter the tent at all.

The next round of treatments was coming due.

Hoffman said, “The awful part about this disease is that it doesn’t kill them. They’re all holding on, barely. They breathe and pump out airborne virus. Their urine, their feces, their sweat, all of it’s infected. They’re living virus factories, all of them.”

“It gives us time to save them,” Dr. Russo said.

“For what? They have brain damage. Organ damage. None of them will have a full life ever again.”

Russo put her hand on his shoulder. Hoffman held it. It was kind of her, to comfort him. She didn’t understand. He didn’t need comfort now. He wasn’t losing hope.

“Roni, you need to understand. These people are living test subjects now. The most noble purpose their lives will serve will be to help us find a cure.”

She let go of him. “You can’t be serious! We’re doctors! These are patients, not lab rats!”

“Let me finish.” Hoffman held up his hand. He’d never felt so old in his life. “It would be noble, but it wouldn’t be life. We also need to consider one other matter.” He looked at the medical ward again. “Our duty to humanity.”

“What are you saying?”

Hoffman sighed. “Once, I tried to save a little boy with hemorrhagic fever. I kept him alive for a week, but he still died. To this day I wonder if it was worth it. Every day, he looked at me and I could see the pain in his eyes. Was it worth it? For him?” His hands closed to fists. “This virus could circle the globe in a week if it gets out. There are two ways to kill an infection: kill the infection, or kill the host.”

Dara drew her breath. “You aren’t saying what I think you’re saying.”

“We can’t ask for consent. If someone says no, all our lives are at risk.” He looked at her. “Walk out of this room, now. You weren’t here. You didn’t know.”

Hoffman looked back at the room of suffering lives. He waited to hear Dara leave. “Your career’s only beginning. You have more good to do. Go,” he said.

She left the room. Hoffman began to prepare the syringes.

Photo credit: predrik at Flickr
Photo is unmodified
Shared under Creative Commons license

  1. Johnd20 says:

    Do you agree with my statement that this post is awesome? bdkedcdebbke


  2. A.D. Everard says:

    Are you in a dramatic mood? Just askin’ 🙂


  3. Fredrik Kayser says:

    Interesting piece. I would have pulled the switch, so to speak, as well. Without hesitation.


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