Friday 24th January 1992   After dinner 20:15

“So a doctor can’t treat his own sunburn?”
“Come on, Declan. I think you are taking this too far. According to the General Medical Council, doctors are allowed to treat their own minor injuries or minor illnesses. However, they do suggest getting a professional opinion as soon as possible. In the case of sunburn, they advise you to see a qualified nurse within 36 hours.”
“Dad could see Mum, then?”
“No! Neither nurses nor doctors are allowed to treat family members. I have told you that before.”
“So, according to the General Medical Council, if you or me are ill, Dad can’t treat us and Mum can’t even look after us.”
“It is difficult to explain, Declan. Mum and Dad have to draw very clear boundaries between their professional and family lives.”
Declan look puzzled.
“I suppose if you’ve something wrong with you that’s going to get better on it’s own, it’s alright. Dad could look after you then.”
“So, if I don’t need treatment, Dad can treat me but if I do, he can’t?”
“That’s not really what I meant, Declan.”
“I always thought that those doctors who single-handedly removed their own appendixes in dire circumstances were considered heroes.”
“That’s different, Declan. That’s because it’s dire circumstances.”
“It said on the News yesterday that the NHS is in dire straits so could Dad remove his own appendix?”

We looked at each other and shook our heads. We both knew it was a stupid question.

Can doctors treat their own sunburn?
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