Then a vignette:
“Despite thinking about these issues for much of my career, I am not immune to this sort of masquerade. Several years ago I took care of a woman with a severely leaky heart valve that was constantly putting her into acute heart failure. She was one of my most beloved patients who, at 88, and despite the ravages of her disease, always wore a powdered face, thick lipstick and salon-done blondish hair sitting on bony, wasted temples. She called me several times a week to update me on her condition — or sometimes just to chat. So it came as a shock when I learned one afternoon that she was in the intensive care unit. She had been brought in several days earlier by ambulance to the emergency room, intubated with a breathing tube because of respiratory arrest and admitted to the I.C.U. with a diagnosis of worsening multi-organ failure.
*to read the rest of this NYTs story “The Lies That Doctors and Patients Tell” by Sandeep Jauhar, highlight and click on open hyperlink http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/20/the-lies-that-doctors-and-patients-tell/?ref=health