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By Peter Angelos M.D., Ph.D. (auth.), Peter Angelos M.D., Ph.D. (eds.)

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Translation is usually from one of three sources 1) professionals, 2) amateurs (outsiders with no relation to the patient), or 3) intimates (family members or friends). Of the three, intimates of the patients can be the most perilous, both in making a medical diagnosis and in inadvertently raising moral issues. In some instances patients may feel certain types of information--such as sexual history and family secrets--can be told to a clinician but should not be revealed to these intimates. In recounting his medical history, a man may be willing to share with the physician information about a sexually-transmitted disease but unwilling if his wife, daughter, or neighbor is also present.

Tolstoy, pp. 117-188. 3. Tolstoy, p. 121. 4. Tolstoy, p. 122. 5. Peter Angelos, "Patterns of Physician-Patient Communication: Results of Preliminary Studies," presented to a symposium in honor of David L. Nahrwold, Northwestern University Medical School, 27 February 1998. 6. Kerrigan DD, Thevasagayam RS, Woods TO, et al.. Who's afraid of informed consent? Brit Med J 1993;306:298-300. 7. Howard Brody, however, has made it the core of the conversational ethics he describes as essential to primary care and highly useful in sub-specialty medicine; see The Healer's Power (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992).

Ed. Mosaic Press: Oakville, Ontario, 1993. 4. Lock 149. 5. Dixon JL, Smalley MG. Jehovah's witnesses: the surgical/ethical challenge. JAMA 1981;246:24712472. 6. Geertz C. The Interpretation ofCultures. New York: Basic Books, 1973, p 14. 7. Hall ET. The HIdden DimensIOn. Garden City: Anchor Books-Doubleday, 1966. 8. Argyle M. A Hinde, ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972. 9. Myers GE, Myers MT. The Dynamics ofHuman Communication. 4th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1985. 10. Geertz, p. 127.

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