Medicine And Books

The Patient in the Family: An Ethics of Medicine and Families

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7026.321a (Published 03 February 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:321
  1. Michael Modell

    Hilde Lindemann Nelson, James Lindemann Nelson Routledge, pounds sterling11.99, pp 251 ISBN 0 415 91129 X

    We can no longer assume that the primary duty of the doctor is always to act in the best interests of the patient. The conflicts between the needs of individuals, the best interests of the family, and the expectations of society are recurrent themes of The Patient in the Family. They are familiar in general practice—for instance, around the decision of when to send a terminally ill patient to hospital, or a dementing old person into residential care. It is easy to expect too much from “coping” spouses, especially if the patient is happy.

    I remember an example that highlights …

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