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A Lee, HY Wu
Correspondence: Dr Angel Lee, firstname.lastname@example.org
It is not uncommon for family members to thwart a doctor's attempt at disclosure of cancer diagnosis to the patient. This stems from concern and love as well as fear of the negative psychological impact of such revelation. Indeed, collusion of this nature was the norm in medical practice till the not too distant past. In this era of patient autonomy and the right to information, we must be careful not to allow attitudes of medical staff or patients' families, language difficulties and organisational issues become barriers to patient's access to information and their psychological coping of the illness. At the same time, we also need to be acutely aware of the unique cultural environment we work in and the families' emotional needs even as we aim to match the patient's desire for information.
Keywords: collusion, patient autonomy
Singapore Med J 2002; 43(10): 533-538