Should doctors attend patient funerals?

The death of a patient is an unpleasant topic, but one that faces every physician. The question is, what do you do after the patient dies? In a recent journal article, a pair of physician-authors are suggesting that physicians should attend patient funerals whenever they can. Among other things, it gives the physician some closure, allowing them to get a fuller picture of the patient and their life. Also, when a physician attends a funeral, it validates the worth of the deceased person for the family, the authors say. Not only that, attending funerals helps communicate the message that a physician's responsibility extends to caring for the patient's family once the patient has gone, they suggest. All told, they write, "there are personal and family benefits to be gained and little to be lost."

To read more on this issue:
- read this Medical News Today piece