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Accompanying Patients in the Time of COVID-19

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.

Simone Weil1

On a late autumn afternoon early in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, I found myself masked and eye-shielded in a darkened, crowded room on our inpatient palliative care service. Karen, a woman in her 60s, was lying in bed trying to find a position to reduce the pressure on her back where recurrent lung cancer was attacking her chest wall. She managed her patient-controlled analgesia carefully; she wanted to be alert for this moment.

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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.

Article Information

Corresponding Author: Joseph O. Jacobson, MD, MSc, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dana 1018, 450 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02215 (joseph_jacobson@dfci.harvard.edu).

Published Online: May 20, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.1311

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

Additional Contributions: We thank the patient’s husband for granting permission to publish this information.

References
1.
Pétrement  S .  Simone Weil: a life. Letter to Joë Bousquet, April 13, 1942. Pantheon; 1976.
2.
Maitra  A .  Holding up.   N Engl J Med. 2020;383(26):2498-2499. doi:10.1056/NEJMp2025395 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
3.
Weil  S.   Waiting for God. Harper & Row; 1951.
4.
Peabody  FW .  The care of the patient.   JAMA. 1927;88(12):877-882. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680380001001PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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