To doubt one’s every move as a doctor would compromise patient care but to never question it at all would be folly

After many years of a firm and faithful association, the predictable has occurred. Her cancer has progressed, and she has gone from being a robust mother and devoted wife to a mere shadow of her former self, confined to her bed, in turn lamenting over and bewildered by how it has come to this. In hospital, my hand reaches out to her in sympathy and she clutches it as tears stream down her face. “Why, why, why?” The conclusions of scientific research whisper in my ears, “because it’s bad biology” but the consolation falls flat amid the visible devastation of illness. Our journey together has been difficult with the wins competing with the setbacks.

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