Intended for healthcare professionals


Doctors can benefit from spending time with their dying patients

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 26 June 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1763
  1. Sally Mirando, Palliative care nurse specialist (
  1. Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny, Gwent NP7 7EG

    EDITOR—Haas's observation that few junior doctors witness peaceful expected death mirrors my own experience in a district general hospital.1 I am frequently involved in both suggesting and confirming that a patient is dying and then advising on suitable care and drug treatment to achieve a comfortable death.

    I always encourage junior doctors to spend time with a patient they say they can do no more for. A daily contact that shows genuine concern for the patient, …

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