We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

Informing the Patient of a Fatal Illness

Fred Rosner, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1986;146(2):413. doi:10.1001/archinte.1986.00360140269042.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


To the Editor.  —The practicing physician is frequently confronted with the problem of informing a patient that he has a fatal illness. Should the patient be told the nature of his illness and the expected outcome? If the answer is affirmative, at what stage of the illness should the patient be told? Who should inform the patient—the physician, the next-of-kin, or both—or perhaps the minister, priest, or rabbi, according to the patient's religion and the depth of his religious feeling and observance? These and related questions cry out for answers, yet no simple answers can be given.According to Jewish tradition,1-4 a patient suffering from a fatal illness should not be so informed if there is the slightest chance that such knowledge may further impair his physical or mental well-being. Jewish ethics permit, and even require, the facts concerning the true severity of the illness to be withheld from


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview





Also 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.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
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.


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

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

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