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If I Was Going to Die
J Gen Inter Med (2006)
  • William T. Branch, Jr. Md, MACP, Emory University
Do we truly listen to our patients’ words? We conducted long conversations with 23 dying patients at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. All were mentally clear but predicted to live an average of 6 months.We published our methods and a qualitative analysis of our work.1 However, we found it difficult to express how profoundly these conversations affected us. We found layers of meaning embedded in their words. Poetry offers a way for us to capture this truth and poignancy. The poems that follow are offered with greatest respect from transcripts recorded with patients’ permissions:
  • palliative care,
  • dying,
  • end-of-life care
Publication Date
Citation Information
William T. Branch. "If I Was Going to Die" J Gen Inter Med Vol. 21 (2006)
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