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Ken Schwartz’s Story

05 April 2016 Case study

In 1994 a health attorney called Ken Schwartz was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. During his treatment, he found that what mattered to him most as a patient were the simple acts of kindness from his caregivers, which he said made “the unbearable bearable.” Before his death, he left a legacy for the establishment of the Schwartz Center in Boston, to help to foster compassion in healthcare.

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“I have learned that medicine is not merely about performing tests or surgeries, or administering drugs… For as skilled and knowledgeable as my caregivers are, what matters most is that they have empathized with me in a way that gives me hope and makes me feel like a human being, not just an illness.”

Download the Case study (PDF, 553KB)