Prognosis terminal: Truth-telling in the context of end-of-life care

Ben A. Rich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Recent contributions to the medical literature have raised yet again the issue of whether the term terminal is an intelligible one and whether there is a consensus view of its meaning that is sufficient to justify or even require its use in discussing end-of-life care and treatment options with patients. Following a review of the history and development of informed consent, persistent problems with the communication of prognosis and the breaking of bad news are analyzed. The author argues that candid but compassionate communication between physicians and patients about prognosis is essential to informed decisions about both disease-directed (curative) and palliative therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-219
Number of pages11
JournalCambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • bad news
  • informed consent
  • prognosis
  • terminal
  • truth-telling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Health(social science)
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects


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