Doctor/patient honesty

United States
June 15, 2008 6:17pm CST
Would you want a doctor to be honest about your condition if he/she knew you were terminally ill?I just read a article and they were saying most doctors"beat around the bush"and give ppl false hope when they know the patient is not going to live much longer.How do you feel about this?I think most ppl would want the truth so the family and friends will be more at peace and tough end of life decisions can be made.I think cancer is the main thing doctors are not always straight forward about.
7 people like this
16 responses
@cjgrooms (4456)
• United States
15 Jun 08
I was a nurse for many years which my doctor knows and he also knows that i WILL find out what i want to know so he just tells me everything and even gives me copies of my lab. work to look over in case i have any questions (then i bring them home). If i can't trust my doctor for the truth i will find one that i can trust!
1 person likes this
@Zelmarq (11503)
• Cebu City, Philippines
15 Jun 08
As for me, the truth will set us free but maybe the reason why the doctors wont tell us the truth coz they fear that this could make us feel down and would make us really feel more sick. Thats why they tell our families than telling us of the real standing of our sickness. Then the family will do their job in telling the patient in a way that it wont be that heavy on the part of the patient.
1 person likes this
@lilaclady (28240)
• Australia
15 Jun 08
Oh yes I would insist on being told the truth, as my body is my business, but I guess being in the doctors position they would have to take into account how they think their patient would take it..I was looking after an 80 year old lady and it was me that the doctor confided in and I understand why as I know this dear old soul would not have been able to handle it, but I think to day with education we think differently...
@sk66rc (4261)
• United States
15 Jun 08
"Give it to me straight, doc! I can take it!!" Where's that from? I'd rather have doctors be straight forward with me than be around the bush... That way I can have whatever time I have left to do what I need to do... I believe it's true in any aspect of life, actually... I've been called "Cold" & too "rough" about the way I express myself but sometimes truth is truth, there's no way around it, or no matter what you say, it will always come down to what it really is, not what you make it sound like...
1 person likes this
@loolets2 (106)
• United States
16 Jun 08
I would want them to be honest. False hope is bad because it doesn't give patients a chance to say bye to their family, and it doesn't give their families a chance to say bye either. A lot of people are sad when their loved ones pass on and most of them feel like they can't get a closure all because the doctors said they would be fine and didn't give them a chance to say their goodbyes. A lot of families would rather be able to tell the patients that they'll be okay, for them to not worry, and they'll miss them, etc.
@amirev777 (2552)
• India
16 Jun 08
hi, for this discussion i would like to link two very common sayings which are as follows: TRUTH IS ALWAYS BITTER AND IGNORANCE IS A BLISS! it is true that a doctor should always be clear with the patients current condition, the treatment he is been giving him/her. but there arises certain situations wherein a doctor becomes helpless with regards to the patien coz he does not want his patient to breakdown after knowing about his condition n then he wants to try his level bests to cure him. in medical profession there's a saying that try till u can n if not possible leave it for god. a doctor will never want his patient to die, that will be the worst thing in a doctors life. to give someone hope cannot be considered as beating around the bush.sometimes its seen in many cases that the patient survives a little more on that mere hope which can be called as miracle coz thats the faith of a patient in his doctor.
@Elixiress (3893)
16 Jun 08
I would want to know, because then I can make the most of my life, I can do things that I have not wanted to do, because I did not want to hurt myself, but knowing that I was going to die soon I would not be as bothered and I would freely enough myself for my remaining days. I could also make better arrangements for my family, buy them gifts with my money, put money in funds for children etc.
@SheliaLee (2738)
• United States
16 Jun 08
I have to agree with you on this. I feel that people need to know because there may be some things that they want to do to get their affairs in order. I'm sure it can be a hard decision though. When my father-in-law was dying with cancer his family wasn't sure to tell him or let the doctors do it. I can't really remember right now how they handled it. But I think I would want to know myself from the doctor but let my family be in the room at the same time.
@feralwoman (2199)
• Australia
16 Jun 08
If I was seriously or teminally ill - i'd be really really irritated if the doctor beat around the bush with me. No point in giving people false hope. They need the facts so that they can decide on possible treatments and perhaps get their affairs in order, just in case the worst happens.
@chivann (138)
• Cambodia
16 Jun 08
I think the doctors are right because i see the mentality is the big part of human life.ok now let's say you are going to die next week,and now what are u going to do?i think you should not know the truth and live happily in the next 7days...and the family members should know the truth and do everything for the patient ,i mean before he/she die. i just want u to bear in mind that mentality is unbelievable sometimes(they can live a bit longer sometimes maybe 1-2 week more who knows because he/she is happy..
• India
16 Jun 08
Leave alone cancer, doctors these days are not honest about simple problems. In cases like cancer, doctors may be doing it because they are sensitive, but mostly these days it because they have forgotten all about ethics. All they want is that patients stay their customers as long as possible. Look at delivery cases, most of them are now ceaserian, not because of any complications, but because they seem more efficient and time consuming(and hence more lucrative).
• United States
16 Jun 08
deffinately prefer honesty
• New Zealand
16 Jun 08
I have to agree with you about doctors not always been straight forward with a cancer patient. I mean cancer is a real biggie & you want to know how long you have? what the treatments are actually treating if you have them? But then if you don't accept the treatments, doctors think you don't want to help yourself. If you get upset about results that may not have been what you expected, the red flags go up & the doctors look like they want to ring the mental health crisis team. Geez come on the world as you knew just turned full circle......doctors need to be straight up about your illness, give you all the facts, let you know of your options as far as treatment goes & definitely don't waste time with false hope, because time has become so precious.
• United States
16 Jun 08
i would want them to be honest because that gives you time to make the proper arrangements and make you final wishes known. But as for Dr. beating around the bush i.d.k because we found out that my father had colon cancer a little shy of a year and the doctor who broke the news to us was very forth right he really didn't have any tact he just said it like it was and I really didn't feel in my opinion that he took anyone feeling into consideration. i think that it was good in a sense to tell us the truth but not so blumtly. i think that you really have to be careful what you wish for because some doctors (ppl in general)are just real but holes.
@Hatley (164654)
• Garden Grove, California
16 Jun 08
I think that a doctor should always be honest 'with his patient as how else could you trust him. I want him to tell me the truth at all times so I can be prepared for anything that might happen.I think most doctors do tell the truth and those who do not are in the minority.
@Adelida2233 (1008)
• United States
16 Jun 08
Yes, I would want them to be honest. That is the whole point of putting someone in control of your care. I've never been put in a position where a doctor has beat around the bush with something that concerned my heath, but I can guarantee if I am ever put in that position, I will have a new doctor by the next visit.