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Poetry and Medicine
August 2, 2016


Author Affiliations
  • 1Chester County Hospital, West Chester, Pennsylvania

Copyright 2016 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2016;316(5):547. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.3538

Found it in the
“scanned” file after
reading all the e-notes.
    “Sorry to leave you with
    this mess but I was just
    so tired of it all.”
Medics found it
on the nightstand
under the empty
vial so they grabbed
it on the way out.
    “They can say my name at
    Sunday Mass intercessions
    but nothing in the Bulletin.
Came around after
naloxone and fluids.
Felt worse for failing
and still tired.
    “You’ll have to put Fluffy 2
    to sleep, another mess I’m
    leaving but I couldn’t do that
    and this. Put her next to
    Fluffy 1 behind the shed, I
    can go next to Dad behind
    St Matt’s.”
The kids, already mad
at the primary for the
Rx Oxy (“Were her knees
that bad?”) and at her for
the I and A will probably
    “Don’t tell Uncle Joe. He
    won’t understand and it
    might upset him.”
try to dictate next
    “Well, I love you.
    That’s about it”
steps to me.

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