In this article we describe the story of a patient who died aged 63 as a result of pancreatic cancer. In the 14 weeks between diagnosis and passing away, at no point was it discussed whether treatment was in the patient’s interest at such an advanced stage of the disease. The topic of death was not broached either. We wish to encourage doctors to consider a treatment option that seems to be a delicate topic of conversation for both doctor and patient: the option of non-treatment. It is necessary for doctors to make end-of-life discussions less daunting. The art of medicine does not necessarily consist of following a protocol; rather, the medical knowledge contained in that protocol should be drawn from, in order to serve the patient’s objectives.
Conflict of interest and financial support: none declared.