Freedom from the tyranny of choice--teaching the end-of-life conversation

PUBMED ID:

22551124

PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE

Authors:

Lamas D, Rosenbaum L

Title:

Freedom from the tyranny of choice--teaching the end-of-life conversation

Source

N Engl J Med. 2012 May 3;366(18):1655-7

 

This article has no abstract; the first 100 words appear below.

 

Thirty years ago, an intern had a conversation with a patient that he regrets to this day. The patient, a young man with widely metastatic lymphoma, unresponsive to chemotherapy, now had progressive dyspnea. The intern knew that even with intubation, his patient would soon die. Although the norm at that time was for physicians, including house staff, to make end-of-life decisions without involving the patient, the medical team, struck by the patient's youth, asked the intern to elicit his wishes. Uncertain and frightened, the patient said, “I want everything.” Intubation followed, and then multi-organ system failure; the patient died on …

 

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