Unstable patients who come through the ER are often intubated and had initial orders set up before we see them in the CCU. A few nights ago, I had one individual present in such a manner. By the time I saw him in the CCU, he was intubated, on pressors, with tubes coming out of his nose, mouth, and rectum. We were breathing for him, keeping his blood pressure aloft and giving him antibiotics and fluids. The very first thing the family said when I walked into the room was, "He doesn't believe in doctors."
Me: "Oh, well we can just un-hook all of these, if you want."
I'm trying to think of an adage similar to the war saying that "There are no atheists in foxholes," but using doctors instead. No one believes in us...until they need us.