Dehumanising hospital wards

Martin B Van Der Weyden
Med J Aust 2010; 192 (9): 481.

British hospitals, still reeling from the bureaucratic edict that banned flowers from hospital wards, have now been informed that sitting on patients’ beds — by either visitors or clinicians — is also prohibited. In the name of infection control, hospital wards in the United Kingdom are being progressively dehumanised and becoming sterile and austere places. These edicts join a previous bureaucratic direction that doctors should not wear ties on hospital wards, as such sartorial ornaments may be vehicles for cross-infection.

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  • Martin B Van Der Weyden



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