Truth Telling A Dilemma: To Tell or Not To Tell
Breaking bad news is always a challenge when dealing with terminally ill patients and it’s often not done in an effective manner. Caring for a patient is not a one man show; it is the responsibility of the entire health care provider to work in collaboration in order to give patient centered care. Many health care professionals believe that disclosure of bad news will be devastating for the patient but according to the research in which 147 cancer patients were selected from different hospitals in Pakistanwhich showed that anxiety level of 41.5% patients remained same and decreased in 18.4% patients(Jawaid, 2010). Moreover, the ratio of patients who were interested to know all the available treatment options was 57.1 and 69.4% were willing to be involved in decision making process about their treatment (Jawaid, 2010). Knowing the truth is the basic component of patient’s autonomy. Hence this proved that despite of having fear of cancer majority of patients want to know about their diagnosis, prognosis and treatment and they want to be involved in plan of care. The key of successful relationship between healthcare provider and the patient is the trust which is connected with the trustful communication. Patients expect the truthful communication from their healthcare provider the same way as the healthcare providers expect from their patients that they will tell them the truth. Principle of beneficence is all about promoting the good and preventing patient from any harm. This means that the nurse should respect patient’s autonomy. Disclosing truth about cancer diagnosis and prognosis may have helped her to finish her pending task, this could have given her the chance to spend quality time with her family.
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