February 7th, 2015
Aiding the Doctor Who Feels Cancer’s Toll
By Jane E. Brody, The New York Times
The woman was terminally ill with advanced cancer, and the oncologist who had been treating her for three years thought the next step might be to deliver chemotherapy directly to her brain. It was a risky treatment that he knew would not, could not, help her.
When Dr. Diane E. Meier asked what he thought the futile therapy would accomplish, the oncologist replied, “I don’t want Judy to think I’m abandoning her.”
In a recent interview, Dr. Meier said, “Most physicians have no other strategies, no other arrows in their quiver beyond administering tests and treatments.”
“To avoid feeling that they’ve abandoned their patients, doctors throw procedures at them,” she said.
Dr. Meier, a renowned expert on palliative care at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, was the keynote speaker this month at the Buddhist Contemplative Care Symposium, organized by the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care and the Garrison Institute. She described contemplative care as “the discipline of being present, of listening before acting.”. . . Read the full article in the New York Times here!