Medicine: A Physician's Lament

The scene is all too familiar. I have witnessed it--and been a participant--more times than I care to remember: a small team of physicians and students on rounds stops at the door of a patient in the last stages of a disease that has eluded all efforts at a cure. After an awkward hesitation, the senior member turns to the others and says, "She's probably very tired and needs her rest. It's better not to disturb her. Let's just go ahead and see how yesterday's colectomy is doing." The others nod, and they move on to the next room.

Every one...

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