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A Piece of My Mind
August 18, 1999

Partnership for Good Dying

Author Affiliations

Edited by Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 1999;282(7):615-616. doi:10.1001/jama.282.7.615

When curing is no longer viable and this message is communicated to or intuited by the patient, a pregnant moment for healing arises for both physician and patient. The focus and fight for life can give way to a new alliance based on sharing the inevitabilities of the human contract. Because in our society we project limitless power onto physicians and other health care professionals, their fantasized power can be used to help dying patients. The smallest, most humble act of a physician's reaching out can have exponential benefit to the patient's subjective sense of well-being.

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