“Mr. Jones, how are you this morning?” I ask.
A muffled, incoherent reply.
“Are you in pain?”
I perform a brief, perfunctory exam — it’s unchanged from yesterday. I then glance at his breakfast tray on the bedside table — still untouched. The plastic mug is still full of watery, lukewarm coffee, the rubbery pancakes on the plate are still intact. This is at least the third morning that my patient — who …