RICHARD M. RATZAN, M.D.
To the editor: Dr. Drew's "A Dwarf in the Cellar," in your "Ad Libitum" column (better entitled "Ad Libidinem" for this piece), was an unintended self-indictment.
The self-righteous stances of both camps speak for themselves in their paternalistic attitudes. The concept of asking the dwarf in the cellar what he might wish was apparently only a passing question in the minds of the discussants. The complete sequestration of the patient from decision-making ("Medical tempers flared, discussion raged, and Jacques played solitaire in my kitchen . . .") is ironically underlined by the patient being left, in reality and symbolically, to
RATZAN RM. Talk to the Patient. Ann Intern Med. ;93:935. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-93-6-935_3
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1980;93(6):935.
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