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Communication With the Fatally Ill.

Herbert W. Peterson Jr, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;18(2):255-256. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740020127019.
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This is a small but important volume devoted to a specific situation in medical practice. Written by a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who has obviously acquired a great deal of professional experience in terminal illness situations, the book is directed toward the physician who has primary responsibility for a dying patient. All phases of fatal illness, from initial symptoms through the patient's awareness of his dis ease to eventual death, are carefully considered. Explanations and therapeutic suggestions are advanced in a style that is extremely readable and refreshingly free of jargon. Because of this, the material will also be informative for those in other professions, such as clergymen and nurses, who find themselves involved in caring for the fatally ill. The book beings with a discussion of the meaning of death. The author considers the special problems of dealing with this phenomenon in a culture which is largely "organized away" from


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