Frederick A. Paola, MD, JD; Tariq Malik, MD, MPH
To the Editors:
"It's like trying to make the dead come alive," he said. "No, no, that's not right—it's more like trying to keep everyone alive, forever. Even the ones who must die in the end. They're the most important to keep alive."
—John Irving, The World According to Garp (1)
T.S. Garp was talking about literature, though he might just as well have been talking about modern medicine.
All too often, patients with a quality of life falling "below the threshold considered minimal"—that is, patients characterized by "extreme physical debilitation and a complete loss of sensory and intellectual activity"
Paola FA, Malik T. The Internist's World According to Garp. Ann Intern Med. ;116:879. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-116-10-879
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1992;116(10):879.
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