Response to Unprepared

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“Unprepared” Response Paper

“Unprepared” by Jerry Groopman, tells the story of a patient whom Dr. Groopman encountered when he was still in Medical school. “Unprepared” refers to his own inexperience as a medical practitioner and the possible missteps he took in his interaction with this patient. The patient’s name was Esther Weinberg , a twenty-nine year old Orthodox Jewish woman. Upon learning of their shared faith, Ester confides in Groopman a shameful secret involving her own infidelity and her belief that her cancer is a punishment from God that has been visited on her because of her sins. The affair was an outgrowth of a loveless marriage and an unhappy life. Esther now feels bereft of all hope; she believes her cancer is deserved and because she has no hope of changing her circumstances she lacks the motivation to fight the disease. After undergoing surgery for the cancer she continues to vacillate between accepting treatment to extend her life and accepting the cancer as a death sentence - the result of a “justice ...with stern …codes of conduct, that when violated…triggers retribution” .. (Groopman 10). In the end, she reluctantly and with some delay accepts the treatment prescribed by her doctors, but she loses the battle and dies.

I used to be a very pessimistic person; no matter what the situation I would dwell on only the negative. My mother would say that my “cup was half empty” rather than half full. The spring of my Junior year in High School this all changed. It was my during my Junior year that I met Ashley. I remember the day I first saw her- a little blonde girl with a pink bow in her hair walking across the field towards my Lacrosse team clutching her mother’s hand. We had been told that her name was Ashley Jacobs, an adorable girl with brain cancer. She has been battling it her whole life and my coach thought it would be nice to “adopt” her as a member of our team. From the minute I met her, we had an instant bond and became very...
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