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We agree that anticipatory stress and anxiety frequently preclude physicians and other health care workers from talking about death and dying with dying patients. Our data suggest that if this anxiety is based on the suspicion that such discussions will be stressful for the patients, it is largely mistaken. Based on these data, physicians can initiate discussions about death and dying knowing that they will not induce stress in most dying patients.
Emanuel EJ, Emanuel LL. Talking About Death, Dying, and Bereavement With Terminally Ill Patients and Their Caregivers —Reply. Arch Intern Med. 2005;165(12):1437. doi:10.1001/archinte.165.12.1437-b