Prognosis Terminal

Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 23 (2):209-219 (2014)
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Abstract

Abstract:Recent contributions to the medical literature have raised yet again the issue of whether the term “terminal” is an intelligible one and whether there is a consensus view of its meaning that is sufficient to justify or even require its use in discussing end-of-life care and treatment options with patients. Following a review of the history and development of informed consent, persistent problems with the communication of prognosis and the breaking of bad news are analyzed. The author argues that candid but compassionate communication between physicians and patients about prognosis is essential to informed decisions about both disease-directed (curative) and palliative therapies.

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