Is it always ethical for health professionals to tell the truth about cancer?
John Costello Lecturer in nursing, University of Manchester, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting
One of the most difficult dilemmas facing healthcare professionals working in oncology settings is whether, when and how much to tell cancer patients about their prognosis. They must determine what is in the patient’s best interest by taking account of individual rights, need for information and their professional obligations to the patient. Evidence appears to suggest that nurses, and doctors, need to focus more on how and when to impart the truth, and less on whether patients should be told or not.
Cancer Nursing Practice. 3, 8, 25-30. doi: 10.7748/cnp2004.10.3.8.25.c139