Telling the Truth to the Dying Patient

  • Eric J. Cassell


I would like to examine the question of truth-telling in the care of the dying patient. As we know, this is a matter of some controversy (Erickson, 1974). Until just a few years ago, it was thought that telling the truth to a patient with terminal disease would do that patient harm. In the absence of a cure, it was felt that nothing could be done for such patients. Since telling the patient his diagnosis was to pronounce upon him a hopeless sentence of doom, it was therefore thought preferable to conceal his fate from him.


Mycosis Fungoides Terminal Cancer Patient Evasive Maneuver Modern Medical Care Potent Therapeutic Tool 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric J. Cassell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public Health, The New York HospitalCornell University Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA

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