I have the paradoxical privilege of being an emergency medical contact for dozens of people. Have you completed a healthcare medical directive with durable power of attorney? While reviewing a DPA with others, I strive to understand their choices in delicate life-or-death situations. This has me confronting death more often than many people. They still talk to me Triggered by seemingly insignificant events, fond memories of friends and relatives enter my mind ...

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I remember, some years ago, sitting with a relative across a large wooden desk in a doctor's private office. We discussed symptoms for half an hour during an initial consultation. On a different occasion, I recall another doctor pinning an MRI on the wall, circling an area and articulating exactly why the radiologist overlooked a diagnosis. There once was a doctor who stood bedside, outlining what was known, what was baffling and ...

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