Medicine changes at a rapid pace, with new diseases being identified every year as well as new technologies and medications to provide medical care. It takes considerable time and energy just to keep up with the latest recommendations or medications. What does not change is the most fundamental part of healthcare—the relationships among people. These relationships exist among the caregiver and the patient and the patient’s loved ones.

As healthcare providers, we are, in effect, given a sacred trust—to do what is best for our patients’ health and well-being. Because we are involved in decisions that have significant effects on our patients’ lives, we can become embroiled in areas of significant conflict. Sometimes, these conflicts are ...

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