The twelve narratives written by physicians for this symposium address the same question: "What happens when I wear a white physician's coat at the bedside of an ill or dying family member or friend?" This commentary addresses several key themes, which emerged as the author reacted to these narratives: (1) the physicians did not mention policy issues affecting the public inherent in a health system regulated by statutes and paid for by insurers; (2) the physicians did not follow the ethical rule against treating family members; (3) there was no discussion of whether hospital ethics committees or similar advisory bodies might have helped address conflicts as they arose; and (4) there was minimal discussion of Advance Medical Directives and Do Not Resuscitate Orders. These narratives show why individual experiences should have a strong voice in the debates over health care and health policy.


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pp. 47-52
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