As I peel of my blood-stained jumpsuit and carefully put it into a plastic bag, for cleaning later, I wonder why a murder scene such as the one I have just left affects me so very much.
True, there was an awful lot of blood, but I see blood a lot, both in my job in the hospital and in pre-hospital care. And the gore associated with some of the motorbike accidents can be far worse; mangled limbs and the like.
Maybe it's the fact that it's one human being against another. But no, the assaults are often far worse, with people laying into each other like crazy, with knives, with champagne bottles, with baseball bats. And that's just par for the course, what we deal with in A&E and on the streets on a daily basis. It doesn't really affect us like this one does.
But there are two things that are different today.
Number 1: this man is clearly past any help whatsoever. He's dead, and there is nothing, nothing at all, that we can do. And yet we are duty-bound to go through the motions of getting a tube in place, etc, etc, etc. For those who spend their time trying to save life, that is difficult.
Number 2: this isn't an act of violence bourne of aggression, of alcohol, of cross words; not a fight gone wrong. This is an intentional act; someone has deliberately taken another's life. And, for those whose raison d'etre is to preserve life, that is an abomination.