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Invited Critique
May 16, 2011

The Palliative Care Triangle: A Strategy to Help Make Difficult Surgical Decisions: Comment on “The Palliative Triangle”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Section of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, Veterans Administration Medical Center, White River Junction, Vermont.

Arch Surg. 2011;146(5):522-523. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2011.68

The challenge of providing a cure for cancer, repairing traumatic injuries, or performing a definitive procedure to eradicate disease and to improve form or function has been the focus of surgeons for years. The patient often may accept significant risks of surgery to be cancer free or to be able to resume a more physically active lifestyle. However, for the patient at the end of his or her life, whose disease will not be cured by surgery, goals become different. Relief from pain, improvement in the quality of life, and a minimum time in the hospital become the important concerns for those who are dying.

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