INSIGHTS ON DEATH & DYING: Conspiracy of silence

October 2005 
Volume 35  Number 10
Pages 21 - 21
  PDF Version Available!


In the ED where I work, I care for many seriously ill people. I'm amazed at how many end-stage cancer patients are brought to the ED when they're obviously dying. If I mention the patient's terminal condition to family members, they act as if this is news to them—even if the patient had undergone extensive treatment for a deadly malignancy. How can this be?

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