You don’t have to tell all your worries


In the New York Times Health blog an excellent article about stealing hope from patients by their doctor.

I’m often surprised how often doctors are willing to put forth the worst-case scenario without offering the possibility of a best-case scenario.

Why do doctors do it, what possible explanation is offered in this article:

“When the physician feels that he or she really can’t do anything active, they tend to take the most negative scenario as the likely one,’’ said Dr. Groopman.

And well-meaning doctors often see less harm in having been wrong when a person recovers than wrongly predicting a recovery that doesn’t happen, he explained. “In some ways it’s easier to give people the worst news, and then if something good comes about everyone is overjoyed,’’ he said.