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Cancer Care Chronicles
April 7, 2022

A Decision Shared Is a Decision Halved

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Clinical Haematology, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
  • 2Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Oncol. 2022;8(6):825-826. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2022.0153

As I went to leave his room, he reached for my arm and sighed, “I’ve lived such a good life,” his face brimming with a warm smile but his eyes filling with tears. For many years a stoic farmer in rural Victoria, Australia, my patient had lived through war and financial hardship, into a happy retirement, punctuated by joyous visits from his grandchildren. Now nearly 90 years old, his wrinkles were a sign of his wisdom and of many afternoons spent in the sun. Results of routine blood tests unexpectedly showed neutropenia and now he was here, 200 miles from home, admitted under our care, alone, and waiting with trepidation for the results of his bone marrow biopsy.

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