Medicine: Such Kindness

The troubled little woman who went to the out-patient clinic of Manhattan's famed Memorial Center for Cancer and Allied Diseases in May 1949 was neatly but cheaply dressed. She described herself to the admission clerk as Margaret Williams Pierce, unmarried. Age: 62. Occupation: telephone operator-receptionist. Salary: $160 a month.

Patient Pierce was suffering from a breast cancer, and it was so far advanced that surgery was impossible. Memorial's doctors gave her drugs to ease the pain and hormones to slow the cancer's spread, thus prolonged the life they could not save. Week after week Miss Pierce went back for treatment. Once she...

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