circling the drain


Also found in: Acronyms, Idioms.
A macabre slang term referring to a patient whose future prospects of life are dim

circling the drain

FTD–fixing to die, near extremis, pre-code Medtalk Referring to a Pt whose future prospects of life are dim

cir·cling the drain

(CTD) (sĕr'kling drān)
Jargonistic and grossly inhumane term for a patient who is in the final days or weeks before death.
References in periodicals archive ?
What Long masterfully achieves is the precise interior focus of a man whose life is circling the drain, and he does this without either high drama or sentimentality.
Last year CSPI bragged that 20,000 reports of "gastrointestinal misery"--"more than all other food additive complaints in history combined"--had been forwarded to the FDA, mostly through CSPI "Olestra may be circling the drain," Michael Jacobson crowed, but it is still "causing too much pain, embarrassment and inconvenience.
As we watch Caden's life disintegrate and literally get consumed by his play, there doesn't seem to be any point except to watch this sad man circling the drain without anything to show for his sorry existence.
It's not because of how they won in that particular game, but every time it becomes common belief that they're circling the drain, they play a game like Sunday's.
A stress puppy is a grumbling worker, while circling the drain refers to a project which is going nowhere.
Night Shyamalan - whose career has been circling the drain for some time now - it's a step back from the abyss.