Sunday, December 03, 2006

Heart Trial

The trial has lasted months. Every week or so the guy I work for asks me to look over some of the words.

This is the problem: The lady’s heart blew up and she died. They have the heart. They’ve passed it around. The guy I work for, the one who writes down all the words, has taken the heart home with him. It’s an exhibit, preserved in formaldehyde, marked with a sticker and everything. The heart is very official, by God.

This is the question: Should anyone have noticed that her heart was about to explode? They use legalese to argue their points, phrases like standard of care and what would a reasonable physician do. They have experts argue persuasively on both sides. And they order all of their words to be transcribed.

It’s not really about the heart or the lady anymore. The heart is preserved forever; the lady is long gone in her grave. It’s about who has to pay and who gets paid when someone suffers a fatal wound. Sometimes I think I make an honest living; other times…

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