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A Letter to Craig S. Kitchens, Professor of Medicine, UF College of Medicine

And attached reprint: Thoughts of the Present from a Perspective of the Past (by Craig S. Kitchens, MD

Eugene A. Stead, Jr.

November 1, 2003

Dear Craig,

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 caring physician.

Eugene A Stead Jr. M.D.

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