"As I rushed through the hospital lobby on my way to the intensive care unit, I saw the palliative care team speaking to a young woman in a wheelchair. She was beautiful, her cheeks full and round, her mouth in a constant soft smile as she spoke. She sat regally in her chair, the red of her sweatshirt anchoring my eyes in the dim hospital lobby. She was such a vision of beauty and health that it took me a second to realize that her right leg was amputated below the knee.
As the treating doctor for this critically ill patient, I had been sure she would die. And I was wrong. Her very presence in the lobby felt like a reprimand".