again. And I’d be the same way if I were in their shoes.”
almost five hundred terminally ill patients to estimate
howlong theythoughttheirpatientwouldsurvive and
overestimated their patient’s survival time. Just 17
patients, the more likely they were to err.
Second, weoftenavoidvoicing eventhesesentiments.
Studies find that although doctors usuallytell patients
specific prognosis, even when pressed. More than 40
percentof oncologistsadmit toofferingtreatmentsthat
relationship betweenpatient and doctor isincreasingly
miscast in retail terms—“the customer is always
right”—doctors are especiallyhesitant to trampleon a
overly pessimistic than you do about being overly
optimistic. And talking about dying is enormously
last thingyou want to do is grapple with the truth.I
know, becauseMarcoux wasn’t the only one avoiding
that conversation with her. I was, too.
Earlierthat summer,a PET scan had revealedthat, in