Should the Patient Know the Truth?

William B. Bean
AMA Arch Intern Med. 1955;96(3):436. doi:10.1001/archinte.1955.00250140158026.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


The very title of this series of questions on patient-physician relationships and matters of medical morality suggests that there is such a thing as "the truth," that this is known to the physician, and that it is sometimes kept away from the patient. In actual fact, as many of the interesting and different essays in this collection clearly set forth, the problem is much more complicated than that. To begin with, the problem concerns the truth merely when it is unpleasant. When the prognosis is good, the diagnosis indicates a benign course or benign lesion, or when nothing bad has been found, there is no question in anyone's mind. On the other hand when the disease is serious, when the outcome is in doubt, or when death is anticipated and, particularly, when some form of malignant tumor forms the basis of the patient's trouble, the questions are very perplexing. There


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview





Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).
Submit a Comment


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.