Coping With Patients' Deaths

Sarah J. Goodlin, Eric J. Cassell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSupportive Care in Heart Failure
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191730030
ISBN (Print)9780198570288
StatePublished - Nov 17 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Coping
  • Death
  • Emotions
  • Heart failure
  • Patient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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