When a patient dies, we visit the bereaved family at home as a natural continuation of care. In this situation, we invariably hear the confusion of values between traditional fatalism and modern activism. The mourners often express their anger towards one or other of the health team involved in the last illness, as if the family had been cheated by modern medicine, which offered a better alternative to the old system but in the end was unable to deliver.
In this book, we have followed our Yemenite Jewish patients over the centuries, from their old home and old ways into a new era. Change is a process that takes generations, not years, and shadows of the past continually pass over in our day-to-day clinical practice. In responding to these nuances we may find those points of human contact that elevate medicine above mere science. Both the patient and his doctor, the observed and the observer, are in a never- ending state of personal discovery and cultural development, so observations are never truly objective. We travel together on our journeys.
He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings; So the Lord alone did lead him.