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This topic was discussed by a splendid Twitter chat group called #Nurseshift. Many discussants didn’t see it is as clear cut and is course a very delicate subject. One participant said from reading research papers from last 5years and through her training there has been no guidance on this.
Some argued that lying might be ok if it was to protect the health of a patient (therapeutic lying). For example, not letting them out in the middle of night, and using a specific made-up excuse as to why it would be unwise to go out. Or also when a relative may have died – which could cause further stress or confusion.
Another user questioned whether much would be gained in being honest with someone who might potentially be tangled up in false beliefs. Also, how much should you intervene with a confused patient? Is it ok to go along with what they are saying rather than contradicting them which may cause further confusion. It’s a fascinating transcript – and I have only touched on a few issues. It would be good to flesh out some of the issues below.