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A Piece of My Mind
August 6, 2014


Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, NYU School of Medicine, New York, New York; currently with the Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Copyright 2014 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2014;312(5):487. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.7236

Every morning I entered the room: Dark, silent, the antithesis of the lively hallway, filled with the lights and sounds of the hospital coming alive. Absent were the voices of coworkers greeting each other over street-cart coffee and doughnuts, trading stories of their children’s adventures and mishaps, and divvying up the day’s work.

He lay as he always did. Facing the door. Legs drawn up to his stomach as if he was afraid to take up more room than allotted by a higher power. Eyes closed. Wheelchair at the bedside, ensuring that the plastic bag containing everything he owned remained safely within arm’s reach.

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