when dealing with patients who have dementia
Patient: Doctor, I know I can still drive. Just let me take a test."Mr. K's wife did what caregivers for individuals with dementia often do -- she placated his concerns for the moment and then redirected him, in essence telling a lie. Should doctors ever do the same thing?"
Doctor A: I'm sorry, Mr. K, but I can't help you with that. As we discussed, your memory impairment makes it unsafe for you to drive.
Patient: Just let me take the test. I can drive just fine.
Doctor A: The memory testing tells us that you would not be a safe driver.
Patient: My memory is not that bad. I know I can drive.
Patient's wife: Honey, I told you that the car is not working now and needs to be fixed. Let's talk about it later.
Read more in this short essay on doctor / patient ethics: The Benevolent Deception: When Should a Doctor Lie to Patients? The Atlantic>>
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