LEGAL QUESTIONS: Dangerous liaison

February 2006 
Volume 36  Number 2
Pages 66 - 67
  PDF Version Available!


An oncologist at the hospital where I work is a great clinician, but he can't bring himself to tell patients and families the truth when it's bad news. Recently, when a family was begging for straight information, he kept talking about the patient's latest computed tomography scan results. He wouldn't use the word “terminal” or indicate what was obvious to the nurses—that no treatments were going to stop this cancer, even temporarily.

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