He was an incompetent doctor but a decent man, he believed, compensating for his professional limitations with his empathy for the patient, his understanding of pain.
Sonja, on Akhmed:
She had to harden him, to teach him that saving a life and nurturing a life are different processes, and that to succeed in the former one must dispense with the pathos of the latter.
Sonja on Akhmed
As the saw teeth caught on the bone, she had performed a second surgery, one less bloody but no less brutal, excising from his heart the impulse to run, to cower, to let the man bleed to death rather than face the horror of saving him. The amputation had left both patients lighter.
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra