Communication of truth in the doctor-terminal patient relationship


  • Alejandra Gajardo Ugás Escuela de Enfermería, Universidad Santo Tomás


People who work at palliative care face many ethical dilemmas. Often they are related with the duty to tell the truth to the patient and to respect his autonomy, in opposition to the duty of caring and not harming.
The autonomy principle is based upon respect for the patient's values, beliefs and capacity of making decisions as the principal moral consideration and, therefore, it requires communication of the truth. Beneficence, when looking for the patient's sake and for his benefit, can suppose that truth may cause damage.


terminal patient, communication, truth