I have long been interested in the debate which continues in both the medical and mental health communities about the affect of hope on healing. Some would argue that honesty about a patient’s condition and prognosis must trump the understandable desire to give him a reason to believe in the possibility of a cure. Others say that depriving a patient of hope, even when the situation is, in reality, dire, also deprives her of the will to live, and thus can hasten death itself.
As he visits Israel this week for the second time in four months, President George W. Bush has scaled down his expectations for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement.
Instead of the optimism he displayed late last year when he spoke of the creation of a Palestinian state before he left office, Bush told Israeli journalists Monday that he was hoping the two sides could “get a state defined by the end of my presidency.”