David Hares is a popular guy on the sixth floor of the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. Nurses, housekeepers, and hospital administrators smile and greet him as he walks down the corridor, some reaching out with an affectionate squeeze. At the end of a hall, Hares tries to exit though a locked door, and a nurse tsk-tsks him as he playfully jiggles the handle. “You gotta wait till I buzz you!” she says, and grins as she waves him through.

However light the mood at Einstein today,...

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