The House of God - Chapter 15 Summary & Analysis

Samuel Shem
This Study Guide consists of approximately 36 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The House of God.
This section contains 368 words
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Chapter 15 Summary

Roy is still on 4-North. Roy deals with a lady with lice that no one wants to deal with. They argue about who should delouse the woman. They are having difficulty turfing patients, because they are so difficult. Hooper, going for the Black Crow Award, gets his gomers to sign for their own postmortem examinations on admission.

They have chief rounds with the Fish and discuss a patient named Moe whose big toe has turned white from cryoglobulinemia. The Fish thinks it's a great case. They discuss Harry, a patient who they can't get rid of, because he can willingly change his heart rhythm if he's told he has to leave. Fats has to tell a woman that she has inoperable cancer because the attending physician won't do it. He winds up playing cards with her.

Roy admits Saul, who was the leukemia patient in remission that is now not in remission. Saul asks Roy to finish him off so he won't suffer. Roy declines, at first.

One of the HELP staff has pubic lice and has Eddie look at them in the call room. They all storm in on them as Eddie is examining the pubic lice and embarrass, Lionel, the HELP staff member. Roy goes home and talks to Berry about Fats and the fact that he was able to tell the woman with cancer that she was dying.

Chapter 15 Analysis

Roy is faced with several moral dilemmas. The first is that he doesn't know if he should go into the call room and embarrass the HELP staff. The second is whether or not he should tell the woman with cancer that she is dying but in the end, Fats does it. The third is Saul, who is now dying. Roy is asked to kill Saul for his own comfort. He declines doing it. This chapter is about the moral dilemmas faced by doctors and interns every day and how they are handled. We don't know the end result with regard to Saul—only that he has initially refused to kill his patient outright. Moral dilemmas, as the book shows, are a daily part of life in being a doctor.

This section contains 368 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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