Coping With Patients' Deaths Chapter uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Ethics, Research
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Power (Psychology)


  • © Oxford University Press, 2008. All rights reserved.This chapter explores the physician coping with patients' deaths, a topic heretofore not well addressed in heart failure (HF) care. In particular, it reflects on the death of patients, the associated emotions, and approaches to processing and coping with them. It starts by talking with patients about dying. It also deals with the physician's relationship with death and the physician's relationships with patients. Coping with emotions and death is discussed. Finding a way to mark and acknowledge the end of the relationship is a fundamental coping strategy for physicians who regularly care for the dying. Death is final and very real. Acknowledging and reflecting on emotions associated with a patient's death are part of the drama and add to the passion experienced in caring for the seriously ill.

publication date

  • November 17, 2011



  • Book Chapter


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198570288.003.0027