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On My Mind
January 2005

Tolerance and Integrity

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005;159(1):8-9. doi:10.1001/archpedi.159.1.8

We have reached an impasse. Through the westward-facing window of the hospital room, a shaft of late afternoon sunlight illuminates the space between me and the parents of the child lying in the bed. The air, teeming with the tiny flotsam that usually goes unnoticed, appears agitated and alive. We have been discussing what the best therapeutic course of action is for this young patient; we have shared information and considered the pros and cons at length; we understand each other’s views and have conducted our dialogue with great respect. But we clearly, and perhaps irrevocably, disagree.