The Straits Times
Published on Dec 12, 2012

Dying wish: Family knows best


DR QUEK Koh Choon aptly highlighted the dilemma facing both the family members of terminally ill patients and the doctors treating them ("Tell dying patients the truth"; yesterday).

Should the patient be told the truth? Each approach has its advantages and drawbacks, but one thing is certain: It will not be easy.

In my view, close family members would know the dying patient better than anyone else, and how he would react to the truth. So doctors should adhere to the wishes of the family, and close family members must be clearly briefed on the likely outcome for their loved ones.

Rajasegaran Ramasamy