Doctors have always encountered the problem of how to best tell their patient of a terminal sentence. Recently, medical professions have been more upfront about tragic news such as this, but it wasn’t always like that. Physicians used to think that by not telling a person they were dying, it would boost their moral and increase their hope.
Amazingly, in 1961 only 10% believed it was correct to tell a patient of a fatal cancer diagnosis! This changed quickly however after studies were done that revealed nearly 90% of patients said they would like to know the truth of their ailments. By 1979, physicians had completely reversed their beliefs and a survey revealed that 97% felt full disclosure was the correct course to take.
Surprisingly, many changed their beliefs to the mentality that the role of doctors was simply to treat their patients with full honesty, not play the psychiatrist.