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Harefuah. 2014 Oct;153(10):613-6, 623.

[Truth telling to patients--A discussion of Jewish sources (corrected)].

[Article in Hebrew]

Erratum in

  • Harefuah. 2015 Mar;154(3):209.


Defining truth and truth-telling to patients are central topics in philosophy, law, and psychology, with many implications in medicine. In the last hundred years, with the transition from paternalistic medicine to a system in which the patient's autonomy is emphasized, the decision on the quantity and quality of medical information to be disclosed to the patient has become more complicated and requires careful consideration and special sensitivity on the part of the doctor. The Israeli Patients' Rights Act (1996] established guidelines for medical staff about telltting the truth to patients with occasional special authority delegated to the doctor to decide for the benefit of the patient at his discretion and with the approval of the institutional ethics committee, but in practice there are difficulties in implementing the Law. This article reviews a selection of sources from Jewish tradition throughout the ages that deal with truthtelling or concealing the truth in medical contexts and other contexts. Sources are drawn from the Bible, Mishna-Talmud, and halachic Literature, from which.conclusions can be drawn regarding this issue. In our opinion, these sources yield messages and values that are also relevant to the modern medical world. This is especially true in a multi-cultural environment such as Israel that requires the physician to consider the patient's background and to communicate information in accordance with his/her will, in an efficient and sensitive manner.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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