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Palliative care, the treatment that respects pain

The New York Times, December 3, 2013
Anyone faced with a life-threatening or chronic illness should be so lucky as Catherine, a 27-year-old waitress in New York. Dr. Diane E. Meier, a palliative care specialist at Mount Sinai Medical Center, recalled her young patient's story in an article published in 2011 in The Journal of Clinical Oncology. Catherine, who was not further identified to preserve her privacy, was diagnosed with leukemia and suffered intractable bone pain, unrelieved by acetaminophen with codeine. Palliative care physicians like Dr. Meier focus on the relief of that suffering, and not just for the dying. All patients deserve palliative care whether they are terminally ill, expected to recover fully, or facing years with debilitating symptoms of a chronic or progressive disease.