INSIGHTS ON DEATH & DYING: Power of suggestion

October 2004 
Volume 34  Number 10
Pages 10 - 12
  PDF Version Available!

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Volume 34(10)             October 2004             p 10–12 Power of suggestion [INSIGHTS ON DEATH & DYING: TERMINAL ILLNESS]


Last week I overheard an oncology nurse tell a patient receiving chemotherapy that his type of cancer has no cure. The patient, who'd been responding well to treatment, told me later that although he knew his prognosis was poor, her comments have made him wonder , What's the point? Now he's thinking about stopping therapy .

When I spoke to the nurse about how her remarks had affected the patient, she said she was doing him a favor by telling him the truth. According to her, “It's not right to give patients false hope.”

What do you think? —C.W., ALBERTA

Not only is giving a prognosis way outside a nurse's scope of practice, but making statements ...

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