Have you been a patient? Have you willingly—or perhaps unwillingly—relinquished the imagined control you have over your life events to someone who might literally hold the next beat of your heart in his or her hands? What were your thoughts and feelings during those critical moments of consent, knowing they promised to wake you up again after putting you to sleep? If you have not experienced that feeling, the time may come for you soon enough. It came for me several months ago during the preoperative process for the repair of an unexpected knee injury. I had to trust a health care provider to skillfully start the intravenous (IV) line that would deliver the ordered therapies and that would be my lifeline during surgery. I wanted only for my care team to do its job well.

If you have experienced that moment, you...

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