I have a question about the usage of ていられる. Can we use it when we speak about somebody else, not about yourself. The examples I've seen are only about the speaker.

For example in the sentence below the speaker(僕) is telling that those doctors can't even make an anesthesia well?

ことさら感情を廃して話す僕に、彼女も徹底的に無感動な応対をする。 こういった手合いのほうがはっきり言って有難い。 性質の悪い嗜虐心などに盛った医者では、おちおち麻酔もかけていられない。

Context: 僕 - speaker, the patient. 彼女 is the doctor, and by 「性質の悪い嗜虐心などに盛った医者では、おちおち麻酔もかけていられない。」 sentence the speaker is telling about the doctors he has been before.

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    You are asking a very good question, but you are obviously reading the last sentence incorrectly. The subject of that sentence is not 性質の悪い嗜虐心などに盛った医者, which is why it uses では instead of a subject marker. The real subject is the unmentioned you/we/one (docs and patients together), meaning that the speaker is included in the subject. 「おちおち」 is a key word here as the patient would like to feel relaxed when getting anesthetised. The word 「かける」 may have lead you to misunderstand the sentence structure. – l'électeur May 31 '14 at 10:43
  • Yeah, it's most likely 麻酔もかけて lead me to misunderstanding, and continue to do it even now, why not use 麻酔もかかる? – renchan May 31 '14 at 10:55
  • Think of it this way. Between the doctor and patient, which one takes a much more active role in anesthesia? The doctor, right? This is why the speaker chose the verb form from a doctor's perspective rather than from his own as a patient. – l'électeur May 31 '14 at 12:06
  • So, as far as I can understand, the actor for 麻酔もかけて is the doctor, and for the おちおち~ ~いられない is the speaker, (僕)? – renchan May 31 '14 at 12:31
  • On the surface grammar level, yes, but strictly speaking, not quite. The author already states clearly what type of doctors he would prefer in the first two sentences. The third sentence is about a hypothetical situation where the doctor is the 性質の悪い嗜虐心などに盛った type. While individual words may look like they refer specifically to either the doctor or patient, the impersonal "you" is the hidden subject for the entire second half of the third sentence. – l'électeur May 31 '14 at 13:02

I think as you suggest, おちおち麻酔もかけていられない could be rewritten to おちおち麻酔にもかかっていられない to yield mostly the same meaning.

かけていられない here seems confusing, but consider:


This seems probably less confusing because it's you who does 眼鏡をかける. However, if you think about it, it's you who went to the doctor and authorize to be anesthetized. So arguably it's still you who is anesthetizing you. Especially, 僕 sounds like a all-knowing guy (he can tell how doctors behave from their attitude), so it makes sense he sees it that way.

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