The way a doctor delivers news to a patient is vital, as it can have a significant impact on the patient’s quality of life, the way they experience their treatment. and even the effect that can have on their medical condition. The doctor's behaviour and attitude matters as much as the news itself; and even good news can be received differently depending on how it is communicated. This book, from a cancer expert, relies on a wealth of personal experience, but also has valuable lessons for those not working in medicine.
The moment of encounter - "Please come in": Two people meet
1 Who Needs This Book, and why a Doctor had to Write it
Breaking Bad News
How is Communication Taught and Learned?
A Topic that Affects us All—Even in Private
2 Breaking Bad News Well
A Visit from the Head Doctor
An Afternoon Walk
Preparingfor an Existential Conversation
What do Patients Expect of a Good Doctor?
Being Aware of One’s Role
Doctor, Why Am I So Hoarse?
How Do I Start a Conversation When Sharing Bad News?
Difficulties in Understanding
Why Silence is Sometimes the Best Answer
In the Stairwell
The Decisive Question
Truthfulness and Trust
Allowing Space for Theories of Illness and Speaking with each Other
The sad message about Mamed
The Bigger Picture: Turning Relatives into Allies
What Helps People to Assimilate Bad News?
Learning from Life Experience
Spirituality—Hope in Hopeless Times
"I Won’t Give Up, After All"
Finishing and Documenting the Conversation
"Mommy is very sick"
Examples From Outside Medicine
The Father and the Young Policeman
3 On the Search for Good News
The Good Evening News
The Chess Flower
Finding the Good in the Bad—A Question of Timing
Back at Office Hours
In Place of an Author’s Biography: My Saddest, and Most Beautiful News
What Happened with Susanne Sieckler?
Appendixes: Help for helpers, recipients and relatives
A1 Brief summary of the SPIKES method
A2 Guidelines for Announcing a Death
A3 Breaking Bad News — Seminars
A4 Checklists for Communicating Bad News
A5 Selected Scientific Research