Physicians often shy away from conversations with patients regarding poor prognoses. Even when physicians do give patients specific prognoses, they may convey overly optimistic information.1 Giving patients potentially misleading information violates cultural norms and ethical standards. Physicians often believe that they should always strive to have transparent and highly realistic communication with their patients. Is this, however, truly what patients want? And if so, do the incentives inherent in the US health care system support transparent patient-physician communication?
Minami CA, Yang AD, Szmuilowicz E. Negotiating the Tensions in Patient-Centered Care. JAMA. 2015;314(11):1167-1168. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.10112