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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 68  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 152-155

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth: Therapeutic privilege

Department of Internal Medicine, Lincoln Medical Center, Room 8-30 234E 149th St. The Bronx, NY, USA

Correspondence Address:
M Shalak
Department of Internal Medicine, Lincoln Medical Center, Room 8-30 234E 149th St. The Bronx, NY
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpgm.jpgm_1146_21

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The term therapeutic privilege is unfamiliar in the medical field and often sparks questions and discomfort about its ethical implications. Therapeutic privilege refers to the act of withholding information by a clinician, with the underlying notion that the disclosure of this information would inflict harm or suffering upon the patient. This is a case of a 56-year-old woman who presented to our facility under critical conditions. She developed sepsis with acute respiratory failure, requiring intubation and mechanical ventilation. Prior to her admission, her husband had been admitted at our facility's intensive care unit. On the same day when our patient was extubated, her husband had died. The palliative care team was consulted to assist with disclosing this information to the patient in light of her emotional fragility, her anxiety, and concerns for her ability to receive such news given her own active illnesses.


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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow