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 |

Physicians' and the Public's Attitudes on Communication About Death

Ramaswamy Viswanathan, MD; Julian J. Clark, MD; Kusum Viswanathan, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1986;146(10):2029-2033. doi:10.1001/archinte.1986.00360220199032.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


• We studied the preferences of physicians and the public as to how physicians should inform a family of a patient's unexpected death. When the family had to be reached by telephone, 72% of our 150 physician-respondents preferred telling the family that the patient was critically ill and asking the family to come to the hospital immediately (critical notification [CN]); 25% of the physicians preferred announcing the death over the telephone (death notification [DN]). When the news had to be announced in person, 58% of physicians preferred immediately announcing it (IA), and 33% preferred gradual announcement (GA). A Gallup poll commissioned by us showed that 64% of the adult population in the United States preferred CN, 26% DN, 79% IA, and 17% GA; CN and IA were preferred in all the demographic subgroups examined. We discuss our findings, the reasons for them, and their ethical and practical implications.

(Arch Intern Med 1986;146:2029-2033)


Sign in

Purchase Options

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





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.

6 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.