Ethics expert says we should: “Tell the truth!”

Father John Paris

Father John Paris

Noted medical ethics professor Fr. John J. Paris had a simple message for doctors, nurses and spiritual care volunteers meeting on our Mountain View campus: when giving bad news, tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

While that sounds simple, the truth is we often try to sugar coat bad news. But, as Fr. Paris said, a person who has been diagnosed as legally brain dead does not benefit from technological interventions that only delay the dying process.

“Honesty is always the best policy” Fr. Paris told a standing room only gathering of medical and spiritual care staff gathered on our Mountain View campus. “We have to tell the truth even if it is not what people want to hear.” Fr. Paris is the Walsh professor of Bioethics at Boston College who has published more than 100 articles on law, medicine and ethics.

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