“Has anybody asked the patient?”

Jessica Nutik Zitter raised her hand to pose that question some years ago, at a “Morbidity and Mortality” conference wherein a room full of physicians were discussing treatment options for a dying patient. The doctors continued to talk about surgery A or drastic measure B. Zitter raised her hand again to say, “Has anybody asked the patient?”

Zitter is now a highly-regarded critical care/palliative care physician who speaks and writes often on end-of-life issues. A solitary voice at that “M&M” conference, today she is one of the leading voices for medical care that asks the patient first. It is the care most of us would choose.

Jessica Nutik Zitter’s stories (a book is forthcoming from Penguin Random House) starkly highlight the death-is-not-an-option attitude unfortunately still common in the medical profession — and the pain and anguish endured by patients who wind up on the conveyor belt as a result. (…) Read Full Publication Here

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