CHAPTER3Quantifying Suffering


NANCY, 72 YEARS old, was at an amusement park with her 8-year-old grandson when she began to have trouble breathing. Standing in line, she found that she just couldn’t get enough air in. She tried sitting down, but that didn’t help much. An hour or two earlier, she had noticed that her ankles were swollen, and she had attributed it to all the walking she had been doing and the salty junk food she had eaten for lunch. Now she wasn’t so sure. A park attendant noticed her and was worried enough to call an ambulance.

At the local hospital emergency room, a nurse looked her over carefully, asking questions, listening ...

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