Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Medicine's limits, and patient needs

There was a small, important article in Bloomberg News last week by David Klein, the CEO of Excellus, the large BlueCross BlueShield insurer in Upstate New York.

Mr. Klein discusses lessons learned during his wife's battle with cancer. He speaks plainly about what must be a very confounding and very emotional period in their life together. He notes that sometimes "clear answers don't exist" in medicine, despite the best research and despite the care of able practitioners.

David Klein's article emphasizes both the human and the humane: respect for the art of medicine, not just its scientific content, and the importance of emotional and spiritual support in patient care.

These are important reminders for professionals and lay people alike.

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