JOHN JOSEPH LA PUMA, M.D.
To the editor: I have just completed an internal medicine residency in an institution where the ravages of old age are often uncomfortably apparent to health care workers. Severely demented patients are among the most difficult to take care of. Their problems are many and their likelihood of recovery small. As physicians, we often feel helpless with them. How to be humane to these patients raises complex problems.
Dr. Rango's (1) thoughtful article tries to help us be humane. In it, he sets forth criteria for limiting the medical care given to demented patients. Rango describes the "absence of the
LA PUMA JJ. Difficulties in Assessing Dementia. Ann Intern Med. ;103:470. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-103-3-470_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1985;103(3):470.
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