Empty Spaces

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

"I'm Jewish, you know, and my mother said, 'Always trust the rabbis.'" I never heard Mr. Weisman's refrain from his own lips. I never heard him say any words all. By the time I met him he was in a vegetative state, a man on the precipice of invisibility-white hair, thin pale limbs, melting into sheets of the same color. When I think about Mr. Weisman, I see empty spaces-the absence of his voice, the too-large bed for his shrinking frame, the always-empty chair by his bedside, and most of all, the myriad gaps in his life story. He was what in hospitals is often called a "patient alone": someone who lacks decisional capacity and has no surrogate to make medical decisions for him. Mr. Weisman's aloneness prompted his primary team to consult our bioethics service in order to formulate goals of care for him, including the possibility of hospice care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-4
Number of pages2
JournalThe Hastings Center report
Volume47
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Aphonia
Clergy
Patient Care Planning
Persistent Vegetative State
Hospice Care
Bioethics
Lip
Hair
Freezing
Extremities
Color
Mothers
rabbi
hospice
bioethics
lack

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Philosophy
  • Health Policy

Cite this

Empty Spaces. / Hulkower, Adira.

In: The Hastings Center report, Vol. 47, No. 5, 01.09.2017, p. 3-4.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hulkower, Adira. / Empty Spaces. In: The Hastings Center report. 2017 ; Vol. 47, No. 5. pp. 3-4.
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