The first thing I remember as I regained consciousness, lying in a hospital emergency room, was hearing a nurse ask my mom if I was allergic to any foods. With my eyes still closed, I said, “asparagus,” thinking this might reduce the chances of anyone serving me what was then a dreaded vegetable. “Asparagus,” repeated the nurse, making a note on my admission form. And then, with a chuckle and what must ...

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Whenever he meets with a new patient, Harvey Chochinov likes to ask one important question: “What should I know about you as a person to help me take the best care of you that I can?” It’s a question every doctor should ask, says Chochinov, author of Dignity Therapy and director of the Manitoba Palliative Care Research Unit; a question he has found helps patient and doctor alike dial ...

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