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GOMER (also commonly goomer) is medical slang for a patient in a hospital who is demented (and not fully conscious) or bordering on death, hence taking up room unnecessarily in the hospital. Doctors and nurses may feel that, past a certain level of degeneracy, providing life-prolonging treatments is no longer sensible, and that they should simply be allowed to die in peace.
Origins and etymology
Gomer (also spelled GOOMER) stands for get out of my emergency room, reflecting the annoyance of the doctors. It first appeared in widespread print in the medical novel The House of God by Samuel Shem, and was used mostly in the 1980s and 1990s, and is still used today. A gomere is a female gomer. The term has been used several times on the television shows Scrubs and ER.
- Dans, P. E. (2002). "The use of pejorative terms to describe patients: "Dirtball" revisited". Proceedings (Baylor University. Medical Center) 15 (1): 26–30. PMC 1276333. PMID 16333404.
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