Doctor reveals why he looks at dead patients' Facebook before notifying parents

  • 19/10/2018
Doctor reveals why he looks at dead patients' Facebook before notifying parents
Photo credit: LinkedIn/Louis Profeta

A US doctor has revealed why he searches his dead patients' Facebook profile pages before notifying the parents.

Dr Louis M Profeta, an emergency physician from Indianapolis, said he owes it to the parents to "learn just a little bit about you" before delivering the heartbreaking news

In a candid open letter posted on his LinkedIn page, Dr Profeta explained his reasoning.

"Right now, to be honest, you're just a nameless dead body that feels like a wet bag of newspapers that we have been pounding on, sticking IV lines and tubes and needles in, trying desperately to save you," Dr Profeta writes.

"I know nothing about you. I owe it to your mom to peek inside of your once-living world."

The letter also targets the children, explaining the pain they are inflicting on their parents even though they won't be around to see it.

"Maybe you were texting instead of watching the road, or you were drunk when you should have Ubered. Perhaps you snorted heroin or Xanax for the first time or a line of coke, tried meth or popped a Vicodin at the campus party and did a couple shots.

"Maybe you just rode your bike without a helmet or didn't heed your parents' warning when they asked you not to hang out with that "friend", or to be more cautious when coming to a four-way stop. Maybe you just gave up.

"Maybe it was just your time, but chances are... it wasn't.

"I check your Facebook page before I tell them you're dead because it reminds me that I am talking about a person, someone they love."

Dr Profeta says that when he looks through their Facebook photos, he can see them wearing the same clothing accessories that now sit in a specimen cup, covered in blood.