For too long, we have acted as if patients have only two end-of-life choices: experiment with treatments, or quit and die.
Health care must reward doctors for learning their patients’ priorities.
We should be ashamed of ourselves if we fail to provide a few days of rich human interaction and sharing, on their terms, to our terminal patients.
When neither choice is right, we owe it to one another to find alternatives.
Our goal as doctors is to facilitate the trade-offs our end-of-life patients are willing to make to achieve the most satisfying last few days they can. (Patients should get what they want, not what their doctors think they need.)