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A memorable patient: Fear of tuberculosis

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 30 May 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1682
  1. Bill Yule, retired general practitioner
  1. Forfar

    Some years ago, while working in the Outer Hebrides, I saw a nervous middle aged man who complained of cough and haemoptysis. A chest x ray examination showed a bronchogenic carcinoma. On his return visit to the clinic this naturally worried man was accompanied by his wife. They sat down and he opened the conversation.

    “Now,” he said, “I've brought my wife because we both want to know the truth right away. Just you tell me straight. Is it or isn't it?” Trying to work out a suitable answer I played for time. “Is it or isn't it what, then?” I …

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