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If to be human is to be limited, then the role of caring professions and institutions - from surgeons to nursing homes - ought to be aiding people in their struggle with those limits. Sometimes we can offer a cure, sometimes only a salve, sometimes not even that. But whatever we can offer, our interventions, and the risks and sacrifices they entail, are justified only if they serve the larger aims of a person's life. When we forget that, the suffering we inflict can be barbaric. When we remember it the good we do can be breathtaking.




Atul Gawande


Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, 2014

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