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Why Don't They Pay?

by Liz
(South Australia)

I am very angry but just have no way of actually acting on it. I'm angry with the hospital that killed my mother and the coroner who stated that she died of natural causes--and then showed how the hospital was responsible.

It is nearly 2 years since my mum died, and here I am sitting at my desk unable to focus on work because of focusing on the hospital, coroner, etc. How do you deal with such anger?

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hi Liz, and thanks for telling your story here. I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. I know how painful that is, and how the complication of the hospital being responsible makes it a lot more difficult.

I will try to help you.

You have very good reasons for your anger. Medical errors account for hundreds of thousands of deaths per year, and it really shouldn't be that way. The question now is, what to do with your anger.

You might want to take some kind of action with the hospital, but first let's get you healthy with your anger. You never want to act on unhealthy anger, because it just makes things worse, not better.

I think the best way for you to approach your anger is by understanding how it fits into the grief process. The most important thing happening here is that your mother has died. And of course you are grieving.

Part of grief can sometimes be anger, and if you let it happen, you can get stuck right there. Anger seems like a stronger emotion than sorrow, so sometimes people will choose anger to avoid the vulnerability of sorrow. Yet, sorrow must be felt in order to heal.

The main point I want to make to you here Liz, is that you need to grieve over the loss of your mother. When you do that in a healthy way, I think your anger will be less strong, and might even go away.

You will find a lot of good information about the stages of grief and the techniques of healthy grieving on this page. I encourage you to read all of that information and do all of the grieving exercises.

Grief is about celebrating the life of the departed, not just about mourning their death. Be sure and write about the highlights of your mother's life, as a part of your way of honoring her.

I wish you all the best in your healing journey,

Dr. DeFoore

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