August 5, 2017 - Taking Away Hope

August 5, 2017

Taking Away Hope

Oliver Wendell Holmes, a nineteenth – century Boston physician, poet and essayist cautioned: “Beware how you take away hope from another human being.” A physician should never sit like a judge over a desperate patient and hand down a fixed sentence of days or weeks or months of remaining life, even when the patient expects it….A doctor should never write off a person a priori. At the moment of the initial diagnosis, closing off options and denying choices is premature and clinically wrong.  

Jerome Goopman
The Anatomy of Hope