Intelligence Unit Special Reports Special Events Subscribe Sponsored Departments Follow Us

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn RSS

The lies we tell in the exam room

The New York Times, April 23, 2013
Doctors and patients are never supposed to lie directly to each other. (No surprise there. What is surprising is that this expectation is a fairly modern development. Even a few decades ago, honesty on the doctor's part, at least when it came to divulging the details of a bad illness, was generally considered unnecessarily cruel. In some countries it is still good medicine to gloss over the bad parts.) Of course, rare indeed is the examining room where complete mutual honesty prevails. We all withhold, maneuver, and swallow various impolitic thoughts. And then, when a third party enters the picture, all bets are off.