Fillers A patient who changed my practice

To tell or not to tell

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7311.489/a (Published 01 September 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:489

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. A N G Clark, emeritus consultant physician
  1. Brighton Health District

    Whether it is correct to tell an elderly person how long he or she can expect to live, that is the question. In 50 years of work with elderly people, I have found it necessary only once to tell a patient that his expectation of life was short.

    On my ward round I found a 72 year old man with a diagnosis of a large fungating carcinoma of the stomach …

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