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Editor's Correspondence
June 27, 2005

Talking About Death, Dying, and Bereavement With Terminally Ill Patients and Their Caregivers

Arch Intern Med. 2005;165(12):1437. doi:10.1001/archinte.165.12.1437-a

The article by Emanuel and colleagues1 addresses an important and difficult topic: There is no question that communication about death and dying is vital, but the difficulty and stress involved in bringing up the subject is so great that the discussion will usually be “postponed” for a “better opportunity,” which seldom arrives. Yet one must not forget that the main purpose of holding such a discussion is basically to help ease the stress of both the patient and the caregiver and help them cope with the terrifying notions involved with the thought of near-coming death.

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