chapter  10
12 Pages

THE NARRATIVE OF RESCUE IN PEDIATRIC PRACTICE

ByWalter M. Robinson

The death of a child challenges the order of the world, for it is always premature. We cannot invoke a tale of a long, well-lived life when a child dies, and so we create new stories about innocent suffering, the injustice of the world, the need for heroic rescue, or the pain of tragedy. These stories are the narratives we use to guide our way through the events of life and death: they set the stage for our actions and provide the framework for our beliefs and intentions. In this chapter I will examine how heroic rescue, a common narrative of childhood illness, frames the thinking of pediatricians and parents who are faced with the potential death of a child.1