He has given this speech hundreds of times. He knows from experience that here, right here, he needs to pause for dramatic effect.
“The only humane thing at this point is palliative care.”
He stands up straight and crosses his arms across his chest and waits, satisfied with his delivery.
She looks down at her baby, the boy trapped here in a man’s body.
This doctor does not know that her first husband, her boy’s father, beat her. That he tried to kill her and the boy but the gun jammed and that a short time later, thankfully, he died in a car accident before he could touch her again.
He does not know that her second husband, the love of her life, died unexpectedly at age forty, two weeks after his metastatic melanoma diagnosis. They told her palliative care then, too.
Or that her third husband shot himself in the head last year because he could no longer take the severe physical pain anymore. Palliative care did not ease his suffering.
And now they want her to kill the one remaining tie to herself, to that wide eyed, unjaded young woman that she used to be before she learned what cerebral palsy really meant…
The doctor gives her his best understanding, compassionate smile. He knows what she must be thinking.
You, sir, don’t know shit.