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A Piece of My Mind
January 3, 2017

Little White Lies

Author Affiliations
  • 1George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC; Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland; and Division of Hospital Medicine, Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Copyright 2017 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.

JAMA. 2017;317(1):27-28. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.11872

It was just an innocent comment.

Between bouts of dry-heaves, Mr C attempted to deliver his story to us on the palliative care team. With his pink basin still empty, he had taken to self-gagging in hopes of relieving the nausea; he could barely string four words together. Giving each other subtle sideways glances, our team members telepathically agreed that it wasn’t the best time to talk. We would adjust his antiemetic regimen and come back when he was less nauseated. With a sympathetic pat on his shoulder, we headed toward the door.