Hope versus hopelessness in patient outcomes


I wonder if there are any providers offering CME on the touchy subject of when and how to shore up or tone down a patient's hope for a cure. This thought was prompted by a fascinating article in today's New York Times: Doctors' Delicate Balance in Keeping Hope Alive. It's a thought-provoking read. A snip:

    "Hope lives inside a patient and the physician's behavior can either bring it out or suppress it," said Dr. Susan D. Block, a palliative care leader at Harvard. "When a patient has goals, it's impossible to be hopeless. And when a physician can help a patient define them, you feel like a healer, even when the patient is dying."

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