The meeting with the family of a hospitalized patient dying with advanced cancer or hematologic disease in which the limitation of life-sustaining interventions is discussed can be a challenge, particularly for junior physicians. A successful conclusion to this discussion involves an outcome in which the family, without coercion or manipulation, comes to accept that the appropriate care has been provided to their loved one, while the caregivers are enabled to provide care that is goal-directed and patient-centered. This type of result can be achieved through an approach in which patient-focused recommendations are offered in the context of diligent efforts to establish and sustain trust, thoughtful preparation, and respectful discussions with the family.
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