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October 24, 1980


JAMA. 1980;244(17):1901. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310170015010

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To the Editor.—  The short but brilliant piece of art "Gomers" (243:2333, 1980) deserves the highest degree of praise. The case study of a 3-year-old patient successfully demonstrates that even if there are hopeless medical cases, they are not necessarily helpless. The little boy, Allan, using his childish naiveté, has asked the staff for help that is not considered in current practice as medical. Reading books to the sick child is, indeed, a more appropriate task for the parents. However, what if they are not around?Hopeless cases are presumably seen less frequently nowadays because of the establishment of scientific medicine. Yet, they are encountered in pediatrics, more often in adult practice, and in day-to-day practice in geriatrics. With further progress in medical science, we hope to see fewer and fewer hopeless cases. However, let us not allow ourselves to be seduced by this achievement. We will continue to see