NPR, May 29, 2012

A peer-reviewed study to be published today, and described by health psychologist Leeat Granek this weekend in The New York Times, shows that for doctors, expressing grief "in the medical context is considered shameful and unprofessional." Of course, physicians need some distance from the emotionally costly aspects of their jobs—I understand this. But the new research shows that suppressing grief may negatively affect doctors' professional judgment. Half the doctors surveyed reported that they sometimes choose more aggressive treatments than might be best for their patients (instead of opting for palliative care), or distanced themselves from patients who were dying.

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