X-Communication's Dave BergŠ
looks at the Lighter Side of Neurosurgery


Ben Casey: Jane, for fifteen years you've been away. Through physiotherapy, daily massage, and intravenous feeding, you've become a woman.
Patient: I'm scared.
Ben Casey: But the staff of this hospital is here for you.
Patient: And you?
Ben Casey: And me.
Patient: I love you, Dr. Casey.
Ben Casey: I ought to give you a spanking.


Ben Casey: Are you my patient?
Patient: I am now.
Ben Casey: Then you must do everything I tell you to do.


Ben Casey: You've been discharged.
Patient: I am discharge? I am something unnecessary and useless the body spits out?
Ben Casey: No, you are of no use to the hospital.


Patient: Well, here comes Florence Nightingale and the kindly Doctor Casey, stamping out disease. When do I get out of this sanitary concentration camp? Or are you going to take the hypocrite's oath again? Ben Casey (to nurse): I've just returned from Sweden and learned a new technique. Set up for emergency surgery. I'll tell the patient he's sick. When will they see that my job is to give them a warning of danger that their own nerves can't supply?


Ben Casey: I plan to give you the highest dosage you can tolerate. It may well be beyond your strength and resistance.
The woman he loves: But it's only temporary, until you expose and freeze my nerve endings to remove my pain altogether.
Ben Casey: Nerve-freezing is a very delicate and unnecessary operation with a great deal of risk, which I would rather not perform. There's a 50% chance it will paralyze half your face and the infection will spread to the brain. I would rath er not cut open the brain of the woman I love.
The woman he loves: I'm a gambling woman. I'll take those odds.
Ben Casey: Listen up, big girl. A remission is still possible, and I don't want you to go through the rest of your life with a half a face.


Ben Casey: Every doctor in surgery is completely alone when he takes that knife in his hand.
Doctor: Ah, the knife. It was an operation I had performed many times. I thought I could do it with my eyes shut. Really stupid to actually try it that way.

Doctor: The patient will have to anticipate a certain amount of pain, which may become intense. Nurse: Any medication, Doctor?
Doctor: No thanks, I'm driving.


Patient: Nurse! Nurse! I've been ringing for you for hours! Where were you? Kill me! Give me a shot or kill me! I'm worse than dead. Death would be a release! Give me a shot! Nurse: Maybe, if you turn over on your side.
Patient: But my life is draining away. I can feel it going now. Nurse: Don't look so solemn. We all owe God a life or a death.

Doctor: Cause of death - undetermined. The operation was a success, but the patient died.


Ben Casey: Think. Could there anything at all that's not in the reports?
Doctor: Yes, a virulent character deficiency, in the doctor, not the patient. An acute case of overconfidence, bordering on arrogance. Too many of us bury our mistakes. And we're the only ones in the civilized society who can get away with i t. Too many incompetents covered by other incompetents. (To intern) Don't look so smug, young man.
Intern: Now that I'm a brain surgeon, what am I supposed to do, suck lemons to get the proper neurosurgical expression?


Next of kin: I'm here to ask about my father.
Ben Casey: He's going to need more tests.
Next of kin: More tests? But the nurse said those were to be his last tests. Look, I asked you a question and I want a straight answer.
Ben Casey: Here's a straight answer. He'll never leave this hospital.