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February 2, 1901


JAMA. 1901;XXXVI(5):329. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.02470050033009

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A Roman Catholic paper calls the attention of physicians to the advisability of informing Catholic patients or their friends of their condition when it becomes critical, and in any event not allowing them to die before the church's last offices for the dying can be performed. It was possibly in view of something of this kind that led a Missouri judge to decide that it was the physician's duty to inform the patient of his hopeless condition. There are objections to the unqualified adoption of this course, as The Journal has already editorially pointed out, but the Catholic editor's recommendation has a much better medical sanction. As he sensibly remarks, the peace of mind that follows confession often causes a change for the better in Catholic patients, and the other rites, as some of us may have observed, may have the same effect. Whatever one's own religious views may be,

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