NYT: A conversation with Robert L. Martensen, M.D.

Posted on 20 January 2009


A Conversation With Robert L. Martensen

A Front-Row Seat as a Health Care System Goes Awry

Published: January 19, 2009

Available online at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/20/health/policy/20conv.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

I think doctors should get comfortable with being realistic. If it is the case, the doctor should bring up the idea that this disease process might be fatal. Right now, we say, “I can’t take away a person’s hope,” as if doctors were bestowing life. You have to support those hopes that are realistic, not this fantasy land.

For more on the topic, see also this document on the “Liverpool Care Pathway” for palliative care from the NHS (July 2008).