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Title: Telling patients the truth
Authors: Soler, Denis
Keywords: Physician and patient
Critically ill -- Psychology
Terminally ill
Issue Date: 1993-06
Publisher: Malta College of Family Doctors
Citation: Soler, D. (1993). Telling patients the truth. It-Tabib tal-Familja, 4, 3-5.
Abstract: One of the dilemmas that any practitioner attending a seriously sick/terminally ill patient experiences is whether he should tell the patient all the truth about the seriousness of his illness or not. For physicians throughout the ages, one of the weightiest questions has centred on their responsibility in informing a dying patient about the seriousness of his condition. There is no one universal formula which can be applied in all instances. Contrary to much of the doctor's work, there is no routine he can fall back on. Rather his experience will guide him in determining what a particular patient's needs are. The doctor as an expert, is expected to provide thorough information by explaining to the patient the diagnosis, the prognosis and the treatment options, and this goes beyond giving out simple information. In this manner the doctor is creating the basis of autonomy for the patient, the ability to make informed choices as finally the patient has a sacrosanct right to actively participate in the management of his health. I personally always have serious doubts as to what "free" really means and whether the patient would rather be free in that sense.
Appears in Collections:It-Tabib tal-Familja, Issue 4
It-Tabib tal-Familja, Issue 4

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