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Medical News & Perspectives
August 28, 2002

"Palliative Care" Means "Active Care"

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JAMA. 2002;288(8):943-944. doi:10.1001/jama.288.8.943

Philadelphia—After her best friend died, a woman in her 80s who lived in a nursing home developed anxiety and shortness of breath. She was admitted to a hospital where physicians discovered she had lung cancer. The woman, a long-time smoker, chose not to have aggressive care, and returned to the nursing home.

The staff gave her a bible that had belonged to her friend, which comforted her. The nursing home social worker and nurses spent more time with her. She had no family, and chose not to see a member of the clergy.

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