Many moons ago, you asked me and my wife to come to your summer working and
learning session with your young men. I replied that I had no special
knowledge of the field of hematology and would give you the names of three
exciting young professors that could add more than I could. You replied that
you wanted me.
My wife and I spent a few delightful days in Florida and I
enjoyed the staff and patients that your team was guiding through the trauma
of a serious illness. Technically I added nothing to the diagnosis and
treatment of the specific illnesses. I did add something to the discussion
of the care of the patient and the family and how to live
and profit by major episodes of illness.
After the third day, I met with you after the days work was over. I wanted
an answer as to why I, a non-hematologic doctor, was given the chance to spend
5 days with a group of sick patients and brilliant, scientifically
oriented young doctors.
I have never forgotten your anser - that I was the first doctor who told you
to let your patient die in peace. You have no further treatment that will
help him. The family will always remember you as a wise, responsible and