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The authors are sociologists at the University of California Medical School. The book is the result of their observations utilizing sociological techniques in several wards of a teaching hospital, a Veterans Administration hospital, a private Catholic hospital, and a state hospital in the San Francisco Bay area. One of the basic assumptions was that staff members' efforts to cope with terminality often have undesirable effects on both the social and psychological aspects of patient care and on the comfort of the staff members involved. Particular attention was given to the presence and degree of awareness on the part of the patient, the staff member, and the family that death was about to take place. There was acceptance of the idea that the physician must decide if and when the patient is to be made aware of terminality, but much was made of the part played by the nurse under the
Ossenfort WF. Awareness of Dying.. Arch Intern Med. 1966;117(3):473–474. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.03870090157049
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