Bearing the News
Radovsky, Saul S.
New England Journal of Medicine. 1985 Aug 29; 313(9): 586-588.
Radovsky draws upon his experiences in truth telling to terminally ill cancer patients to formulate his reasons for this policy and to suggest to physicians some methods of communication with patients which will result in a sharing of the burden while promoting independence in decision making. The author contends that non-disclosure leads to deception, to arrogation of treatment decisions to others, to mistrust and betrayal in the physician-patient relationship, and to a denial of the chance to survey one's life. He urges colleagues who are psychologically unable to mangage disclosure and its consequences to refer the patient to another physician as they would for any other problem beyond their competence. (KIE abstract)