There are some occupations which largely require that one remains alive in order to do the work. Practising surgery is one that springs to mind; driving a bus, mining precious metals, playing cricket professionally and flying a Boeing 767 from Brussels to New York, are others.
Or not, as it happens.
It seems the pilot of the aforementioned trans-Atlantic flight did, in fact, die while at the controls. The passengers only found out, however, when they noticed a horde of emergency vehicles on the tarmac.
“The crew of the Boeing 767 made an announcement over the
loudspeaker asking if there was a doctor on board, but Martha Love, of Greenwich, New Jersey, who was sitting in the first row of the plane, didn’t suspect anything was amiss. The flight attendants continued to serve snacks. Passengers read
magazines and watched movies. And the flight stayed on schedule.”
There are important lessons to be learnt from this, but the most pertinent is certainly that should the most important member of a team pop his/her clogs, there is no reason for the project to be delayed or derailed.
You, doctor, fear not – your overtired and underpaid scrub sister will take over your delicate neurosurgery should you expire.
To the South African bus driver, no-one will notice the difference between your conscious attempt at driving vs your rigor mortis grip on the steering wheel.
To the decomposing Department of Home Affairs…you have not allowed death to halt your reign of inefficiency, incompetence and generalised unwillingness to stop us citizens from trying to draw blood from a very dead stone.
Finally, to some of my colleagues…I know you’ve been dead for years, but still I value you. Lots.