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Letters
June 28, 2000

Handling Conflict in End-of-Life Care

Author Affiliations
 

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;283(24):3199-3200. doi:10.1001/jama.283.24.3198

To the Editor: In their article on conflicts regarding decisions to limit treatment, Dr Goold and colleagues1 do not mention a scenario that I have faced a number of times in caring for patients with chronic neurological diseases. This might be called the proud caregiver syndrome. The caregiver's entire life is centered around the patient. The caregiver gains respect, pride, a sense of noble self-sacrifice, service, and accomplishment from his or her caregiving. Life would become meaningless without the individual to whom he or she can administer care. The decision to continue all-out efforts is based on the need to continue the caregiver role, rather than on the patient's wishes or needs.

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