The relationship between parents and their next of kin is always complicated. They are naturally bonded yet as independent individuals. In a legal context, they are responsible for one another.
When to let go of my son/ daughter?
At the beginning of this episode, a child patient Han-jun came to Jeong-won’s outpatient for a follow-up appointment. He was already in Grade 6, but his mother answered all the questions for him, ignoring his intention to answer them himself. Jeong-won told his mother that Han-jun was old enough to express himself but his mother insisted that he was still a child. Han-jun then demonstrated his ability to do so and surprised his mother. He even knew seeing the doctor wasn’t a good sign for patients.
In parents’ eyes, their children will always be their babies that require their care and help. They think they know the best of them. But as time flies, children grow up before they realise it. Children sometimes outgrow adults and are more mature than we think. Parents must learn to let go so that their children can fly high freely. Over-protection will just ruin their development.
To what extent I am able to make decisions for my parents or children?
An elderly woman Gu Se-hyeon was sent to Yulje Medical Center by emergency services due to a Subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH). She was later diagnosed with a brain death case. Since she opted in as an organ donor, they have to contact her guardians for their approval. It took them quite a long time to discover their security guard was the family they had been looking for.
It then revealed that it was the first time he met his mother in 30 years. He could not recall any memories with his mother. And when they met, he became her guardian and had to decide whether to donate all her organs. He wondered if he really got the right to decide such a big decision. Eventually, he agreed to do so and considered it as the final gift from his mother, allowing him to do some good deeds and act as her son for one last time.
“Am I making the right decision?”
He sought affirmation from Ik-jun, probably the only one close to him in Yulje. The latter ensured him that her organs will save a lot of lives, as gifts of life to others.
We always doubt ourselves when making important decisions. When it comes to making decisions for others, we hesitate even more. The burden of making such a great influence on others’ lives, even if they are your close family is huge. After all, we just make up our minds and go for it. As long as we think it through, it will be the best choice we could make.
Am I making the right decision for their sake?
Jun-wan met a mother referred from another hospital to get a VAD at Yulje. The mother came to Jun-wan for a second option, if available. Jun-wan analysed the baby’s condition and said the VAD or heart transplantation would hardly save the baby. The therapy might work theoretically but it might not be the right decision for the sake of the baby. He comforted the mother that she was done enough for the baby.
The mother thanked Jun-wan for his honest and objective opinion. The mother wasn’t here to ask Jun-wan to accept her baby as a patient but to reject her. She was struggling with how to make the right decision. She needed Jun-wan’s words to assure her decision.
The parent-child relationship is so precious and unique that no one lives without it, even if you don’t have them growing up. They exist when one is born.
“The irony of a parent–child relationship is, that at any moment, you never know who is teaching whom.”- Linda Poindexer