Delivering Bad News: An Approach According to Jewish Scriptures
Sody A. Naimer and Moshe PreroAbstract
Despite a preoccupation in the medical literature with developing an effective approach for breaking bad news, the sources are based on personal opinion alone and only in some instances on qualitative research. Recognizing the gravity of this topic coupled with respect for the wisdom of the written and oral Jewish scriptures, this work is an attempt to delve into the diverse ancient writings to draw conclusions regarding a recommended methodology to guide and inform this task. It is interesting to learn that most elements related to this topic have previously been raised in various forms in the scriptures. The issues range from where, when, and how the bearer of bad news should undertake this duty, to details such as the environment, the format, the speed, and depth of the details to be disclosed. The essence of this paper is to enrich the reader using both positive and negative examples found in the Jewish heritage. Adopting these principles will hopefully provide an effective method for performing this unpleasant obligation, with the goal of limiting harmful consequences as much as possible.
Rambam Maimonides Med J 2014;5(3):e0020