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Editorials |

Recognition and Communication: Essential Elements To Improving End-of-Life Care

Joseph S. Weiner, MD, PhD; Linda S. Efferen, MD, FCCP
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Affiliations: New Hyde Park, NY
 ,  Dr. Weiner is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, a Faculty Scholar of the Project on Death in America, and Director of the Program in the Patient-Doctor Relationship, Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry, Long Island Jewish Medical Center. Dr. Efferen is Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Associate Chair, Department of Medicine, Long Island Jewish Medical Center.

Correspondence to: Linda S. Efferen, MD, FCCP, Associate Chair, Department of Medicine, North Shore–Long Island Jewish Health System, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Department of Medicine, 270–05 76th Ave, New Hyde Park, NY 11040; e-mail lefferen@lij.edu



Chest. 2005;127(6):1886-1888. doi:10.1378/chest.127.6.1886
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The aim is to cure and, when impossible, to prevent decline. These are measures of our success. As decline transforms into dying, harsh and inexorable, we may become discomfited. This exposes a critical deficit—the failure to see death as an opportunity to use the patient/physician relationship to improve the quality of the patient’s remaining life and the quality of the dying experience, long remembered by the survivors after the patient is gone. Instead, we commonly tiptoe away.

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