Practice What Your Patient is Thinking

Never say never about our child

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h1246 (Published 06 May 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1246

Re: Never say never about our child

A moving account by a loving mother. The complaints against doctors' attitudes reflect how doctors, like any people, have different attitudes to those under their care.

Doctors and all those involved in the care of ill or disabled people have to deal not only with the patient, but also with family members. If relatives have clear views on best or appropriate care, the professional still has to struggle with learning the feelings of the patient him/herself. And when the patient is unable to indicate his views about his suffering and about the type of help he wishes... Yes, the views of family members prevail, but I am not sure that the patient experiences any gratitude for the prolongation of his living with irremediable constraints.

Competing interests: No competing interests

11 May 2015
Abraham H Brafman
Retired psychiatrist (ex-consultant in child & adolescent psychiatry)
London