A difficult conversation

Emma Foster
Med J Aust 2013; 199 (10): . || doi: 10.5694/mja13.10254
Published online: 18 November 2013

Investigation results are a false crutch for breaking bad news to patients

Several years out of medical school, I was working my first general medical registrar job as the night cover in a rural hospital. An elderly gentleman, unconscious and intubated, was brought in by ambulance to our emergency department. A computed tomography (CT) scan of his brain showed massive bilateral haemorrhages. I phoned my consultant, discussed the case, and agreed that a “not for resuscitation” order was appropriate.

  • Emma Foster

  • General Medicine, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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