Informing patients and their families about a diagnosis such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a daunting task for any physician. The way the diagnosis is communicated will have a major impact on the physician- patient relationship and the attitude of the patient toward the disease and toward symptomatic treatment measures. Breaking the news can be truly defined as the starting point of palliative care in ALS. It is an ongoing information process which, by its nature, escapes narrow definitions or standardization attempts. Nevertheless, a number of techniques exist to facilitate the process and ease the burden for physicians, patients, and families. We believe that the terminal phase should be discussed at the latest when first respiratory symptoms appear, to prevent unwarranted fears of 'choking to death'.
|Issue number||8 SUPPL.|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|
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