Perhaps the greatest challenge for clinicians in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is decision-making for the critically ill, or dying, newborn with his/her family. Although we strive to engage in shared decision-making, issues of human values, prognostic uncertainty, and plurality may impede good communication. Our sympathy may be at work in our trying to understand the complexities of circumstances that a particular family operates in. Empathy, however, requires that we be able to act as if we were the other person. More than simply seeing or understanding, it requires our knowing—in essence, putting ourselves in their position and (vicariously) experiencing their dilemma. Short of having experienced similar circumstances ourselves, many of us might feel that simply saying the words, “You are not alone” is inadequate. How might we say this more sincerely and act more effectively thereafter?

Clinicians can now incorporate in their practice the use of a recently...

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