Silence and Truth in Death and Dying
Social Science and Medicine. 1987; 24(8): 651-657.
Since about 1960 a socio-medical literature has emerged which asserts the importance of truth in the dialogue between dying patient and medical attendant; at the same time the former regime of silence is condemned. This paper argues against the implication that truth and silence are in opposition, and moreover that it is only since 1960 that it has been possible to speak the truth about death. Rather what has changed is the nature of truth itself which is manifested in the shift from the interrogation of the corpse to that of the dying patient.
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