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"If you ever hear that phrase," writes the Cheerful Oncologist, "remember this: it is a lie. Physicians who tell their patients this may actually mean 'I'm getting depressed watching you die and want to avoid you,' or they may think of illness as a contest of skill where only victory has any value, and defeat must be acknowledged by immediate sacrifice of the vanquished. In either case what they are really saying is that they are losing interest in caring for you. This attitude may be a sign of insensitivity or simply a human reaction to an impending sadness, but it is still wrong.
"If you ever hear your doctor state that there is nothing more that can be done, turn to him or her and say 'Then now is the time I need you the most.'"
(Hat tip to Orac at Respectful Insolence.)