When the time came that his child no longer could enjoy life, the father of a terminal cancer patient asked Joanne Wolfe, MD, if she could help facilitate the child’s death.
She declined, explaining that she and her team would do everything possible to manage the patient’s pain. After the child died, the father told Dr. Wolfe that his request came from his own suffering and the anticipation of losing his child.
“That is one person’s reflection, but it is so meaningful because of the recognition that it is an extraordinarily painful experience to lose a child in this way,” said Dr. Wolfe, director of pediatric palliative care at Children’s Hospital Boston. “It’s heart wrenching.”
The whole shebang.