Intended for healthcare professionals


In search of a good death: A good death is an oxymoron without consideration of mental health

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 24 July 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:222
  1. Holly G Prigerson, associate professor of psychiatry, epidemiology, and public health, Yale University (,
  2. Selby C Jacobs, professor of psychiatry, Yale University,
  3. Elizabeth H Bradley, associate professor of epidemiology and public health,
  4. Stanislav V Kasl, professor of epidemiology and public health
  1. Connecticut Mental Health Center, 34 Park Street, New Haven, CT 06519, USA
  2. Yale University School of Medicine, Laboratory of Epidemiology and Public Health, 60 College Street, New Haven, CT 06520

    EDITOR—Ellershaw and Ward are to be commended for their useful review of “evidence-based guidelines on symptom control, psychological support, and bereavement… to facilitate a 'good death.'”1 Their recommendations for diagnosing dying are concrete, thorough, and practical.

    By contrast, they write only two sentences about the provision of psychological care: “Patients' insight into their condition should be …

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