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Compassion

Sheldon L. Burchman, MD
JAMA. 1987;257(10):1328. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390100066014.
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To the Editor.—  I read with tears in my eyes the majestic and poignant words of Thomas E. Corbett.1 He has traveled this road with a loved one. All of us will have to come to grips with death and dying at some time in our lives, and his letter should be mandatory reading for all entering freshmen in medical schools.Our experience in Hospice at St Mary's Hospital in Milwaukee these past six years has taught us over and over again that patients and their families should have rights in the dying process and we as physicians should be prepared to switch from a mandate of cure to a mandate of care.Compassionate care is usually the answer to "nothing more can be done." Care should not be the prolongation of life, but rather raising the quality of time remaining for the family unit.The idea Mr Corbett

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