Editorial: Seriously ill patients welcome end-of-life discussions

11/8/2012 | PLos Blogs

Many seriously ill patients cling to an inaccurate belief that chemotherapy will cure them, Drs. Thomas Smith and Dan Longo write in a New England Journal of Medicine editorial. The piece accompanies a study showing many late-stage colon and lung cancer patients believe chemotherapy may be curative. "Truthful conversations that acknowledge death help patients understand their curability, are welcomed by patients, and do not squash hope or cause depression," the doctors wrote, but noted these are difficult conversations that occur over time.

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