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More than my job's worth to hug a patient

I remember hugging a patient - a woman in her forties who seemed very low following her mother's demise ('My patient needed a hug, so I gave her a hug').

She literally broke down at the gesture and poured her heart out to me about her misgivings and guilt at not being able to be by her side when most needed.

It was a good feeling that the hug helped. However, this was eight years ago and in another country. Today, I might pat a patient's arm - but God forbid that I should hug anybody. Life changes very fast and the danger today of being blamed for molestation is simply too high.

From Dr Sanjeev Juneja, Gillingham, Kent

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