The Sarcophagus

Topics: Surgery, Blood, Thrombus Pages: 2 (567 words) Published: December 3, 2014
Anthony Cairo
In this short story of The Sarcophagus, the tale is told of a surgeon and hid team performing an open surgery on a man’s stomach to remove a blood clot. Upon opening the man’s stomach, the narrator (the surgeon), finds a tumor in the stomach and suddenly realizes that this operation will be a lot more difficult than expected. The story takes the reader through the surgeons thought process and the operations procedures. His mental process on proper procedure, his own eventual decisions and his doubt and regrets of these decisions are all shown in the context of this story.

The surgeon’s mental process is steadfast in following proper procedure and protocol, until he comes upon a deep tissue tumor that has spread into all tissues of the stomach, rendering faulty, exposed and weak. After removing the blood clots in the stomach, the surgeon realizes the source of the bleeding to be from the cancer spread into the tissues of the aorta. Clamps that were supposed to stop the bleeding tear through the aortic tissue, showing the surgeon that the cancer has also taken over the tissue their also. At this moment, the surgeon starts to put protocol aside and starts to make his own decisions to show the patient some mercy.

After the surgeon realizes that the bleeding will not stop from the open cancerous aorta, he decides to show the patient some pity. The surgeon knows that even with the patient present stable status that he will die once the machines stop pumping blood into his veins and when pressure is taken off the open aorta. With much internal debate here, the surgeon decides to halt the transfusion of blood and supplies of oxygen.

With the unfortunate events that have just occurred in this story, the narrator, the surgeon reflects upon his decision to allow the patient to die while on the table. He says, “For this little time, I knew that it is not a murder committed but a mercy bestowed. Tonight’s knife is no assassin, but the kind scythe of...
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