Friday, March 11, 2011

How do you tell someone they are going to die?

This morning at shift change we were presented with the MRI of a 40 year old man, who came to the neurology outpatient clinic, as his wife had been noticing some personality changes in the past few weeks.

The MRI showed multiple (five) metastases in his brain with his primary tumour being a lung cancer. After shift change her admitting doctor talked to my boss and I, telling us that he didn't think that the patient understood the severity of her situation, subsequently asking us to talk with him about his diagnosis.

This patient has a maximum of 6 to 12 months to live.

How do you tell someone they are going to die?

I don't have a lot of experience, actually I have none. So I mostly listened to my boss talking to her. All of that really touched me today.
Life is so precious.

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