This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.
THE CORRECT decision as to whether or not to tell the patient he has persistent cancer is frequently altered by the circumstances, personal, practical, and philosophical. In many instances, one decides that the patient is to be informed, and therein lies the reason for these words—solicited by an eminent surgeon from a most humble physician. To tell or not to tell—is that really the question? It appears to me that the manner in which the physician gives this information is of more importance than the information itself.
To be the bearer of bad tidings is a distasteful task at best, but to present the patient with an ill-defined prognosis and often, unfortunately, with certain limitations borders on the verge of cruelty. To those unfortunate ones who must face this task come varied thoughts on how to ease the burden to the patient and also to the physician. Let me tell
Bierman HR. WHAT TO TELL THE PATIENT WITH PERSISTENT CANCER. AMA Arch Surg. 1953;66(5):584–585. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1953.01260030601004
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: