Friday, November 11, 2005

THE LAW OF ABSOLUTIVITY

The Law of Absolutivity n. 1 the fact speaks for itself. 2 (latin version) res ipsa lequitor. 3 as opposed to theory of relativity.

Although the word never saw print anywhere, we used to use this all the time in our clinical discussions in residency training at King's County Hospital-State University of New York, Downstate in the early 70's. At the Trauma Service, we used to do cases after cases of hip pinning (to repair hip fractures mainly in the elderly). Ths service was literally run by us residents and the attending physicians/consultants would know about the cases only after surgery when we present them at the M&M (Moratility and Morbidity) Conference. To show that indeed we did a good job, we would show a post-operative picture showing the hip nail right in the middle of the neck and head of the thigh bone (femur). Sometimes, our attendings would catch us with a different view showing the nail outside the neck and head. We would argue in vain about how there is a whole set of films showing the nail in the right place. Then they would tell us the Law of Absolutivity as it applies to post-op hip nailing films: "If there is one frame showing the nail out of place, the whole set does not matter".

The Law of Absolutivity applies to everything else in life. Example: If there is a video frame that shows a person shooting point blank at a slumped, wounded and apparently motionless individual then the whole set of videos does not matter. A rubout is a rubout.

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