Truth telling in clinical practice: Is it ever ok to lie to patients?
Truth telling in health care is an important virtue of a health-care professional and is closely linked to respect for persons. It promotes trust in the doctorpatient relationship. Views in the western context regarding disclosure of medical information have changed in the last 4-5 decades, together with the shift from medical paternalism ('the doctor knows best') to respect for autonomy and decision making by patients. Increasingly children are also involved in decision making in health care, and guidelines recommend that medical information should not be withheld from them if they wish to be informed.