Helping Patients Face Death, She Fought to Live

Dr. [Betty] Lim said doctors at Massachusetts General might have been right in offering palliative care a year earlier. “She passed away in unfortunately quite a painful scenario,” she said. “Many people would not have chosen that route.”

Yet she respected Dr. [Desiree] Pardi’s choice and was not ready to write off her stubbornness as denial. “She was very much in control of the situation,” Dr. Lim said.

Dr. Lim attempted, in her own mind, to reconcile Desiree Pardi the palliative care doctor who believed in a peaceful death, with Desiree Pardi the patient who wanted to keep fighting.

Dr. Lim said she believed that “somewhere deep inside, she knew this was not fixable.” But Dr. Pardi “knew exactly how much she was willing to endure,” Dr. Lim added. “And she was able to endure a lot.”

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