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A Piece of My Mind
July 5, 2016

“Vote for Me”

Author Affiliations
  • 1Section of Palliative Care, Department of Medicine, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC
  • 2Section of Heart Failure, MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute, Washington, DC
JAMA. 2016;316(1):31-32. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.3713

Space was dim and cramped around the bed of the semiprivate room where we first encountered our patient, whom we’ll call Mr Robinson. Although it was nearly midday, curtains drawn haphazardly across the room blocked the late spring sunlight of Washington, DC. Mr Robinson had been poking through his lunch, disinterested and distracted. Suddenly becoming animated, he seemed to welcome the visit. He sat straight up, ran fingers through his usually slicked-back silver hair, and extended a hand. The grip was firm and earnest.