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September 1985

Poor Mrs D., Poor Medicine

Author Affiliations

Zerifin, Israel

Arch Intern Med. 1985;145(9):1743-1744. doi:10.1001/archinte.1985.00360090219047

To the Editor.  —At the risk of appearing out of fashion, we cannot refrain from expressing our views concerning the article by Dr Garbitelli1 in the November 1984 Archives. It is our firm belief that the primary credo of medicine is the relief of human suffering. This vocation, we believe, should override any other consideration, be it financial, legal, or even the desire to "tell the truth to your patient."We believe that the strongest test as to how to behave with your patient in difficult medicomoral situations is to put yourself in his shoes. Seriously and honestly, would you want to be told bluntly about your imminent death by an authority whose reliability is unquestionable in your eyes? Or would you prefer to be granted the most valuable gift—hope? Who knows, maybe there really is still hope? Before the discovery of penicillin, pneumonia was a dangerous, often fatal