For example, one day at a clinic, a man came in complaining of severe chest pain that had previously had a Myocardial Infarction. The man resisted calling an ambulance and would not immediately go the hospital. Where so many providers would become frustrated with the man’s refusal of care and dismiss him, Anna sought to understand his motivations for not seeking care.
She asked him if he wanted to die.
When he said no, she asked him why he did not want to go to the hospital. The man’s response was that all he had in the world was his bicycle and bag of stuff, and they were with him at church. He was afraid that if he went to the hospital, all of his earthly possessions would be lost or stolen. There would be nothing to come back to.
Anna worked out an arrangement with the pastor to lock up his bike and bag, and the man went to the hospital. He is probably out riding his bicycle right now, and that is because of Anna’s respect for her patient’s autonomy and seeking to understand his point of view.