Rosemary FlaniganMay 21, 2009
I am musing over family's instructions to caregivers, "Don't tell. . . ." and I thought back to the 50's when my dad and I took my grandmother to a physician to check a canker sore (?) that wouldn't quit.
The physician examined her, closed the door between the examining room and the waiting area where we were sitting and told us it was cancer. To the best of my knowledge, for the following six months neither of us spoke the "cancer" word to her.
I shall spend the first few eons in heaven apologizing to her for that!!!
I wondered how professional providers could hide a diagnosis from their patients. Do they justify it by compassion or sensitivity? How can the patient consent to treatment if he/she doesn't know what the treatment is for?
HELP! I know the practice is still going on. How is it justified??
Labels: medical ethics