Coronary occlusion, denial and dissociation

Ruth A Stewart
Med J Aust 2017; 206 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/mja16.00910
Published online: 15 May 2017

A doctor puts emotions aside in an emergency, but dissociation does not help when the illness is in the family

The speedometer reads 160 km/h. I am driving. My husband Anthony is in the passenger seat. He groans and writhes clutching his chest in that classic closed-fist gesture. We are two rural general practitioners in personal crisis. It is only 45 minutes since he won a bike race in the mountains.

  • Ruth A Stewart

  • James Cook University, Thursday Island, QLD


I pay tribute to Queensland Ambulance Service officers Dominique Laidlaw and Gavin Rablin, and the doctors and nurses of Mareeba Hospital who saved Anthony’s life. I also thank Dr Richard Chan and the staff of the Cairns Private Hospital Coronary Care Unit.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.