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Case Reports in Psychiatry
Volume 2014, Article ID 645769, 4 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/645769
Case Report

Considering Patients’ Mental Capacity When Giving Them Bad News May Help Their Well-Being: A Case of Suicide Attempt after Being Informed of Lung Cancer Diagnosis

1Department of Psychiatry, Jichi Medical University, 3311-1 Yakushiji, Shimotsuke-shi, Tochigi 329-0498, Japan
2Jiundo Hospital, 4 Chome-14-53 Sekimachiminami, Nerima, Tokyo 177-0053, Japan

Received 6 February 2014; Revised 8 May 2014; Accepted 13 May 2014; Published 21 May 2014

Academic Editor: Liliana Dell’Osso

Copyright © 2014 Toshiyuki Kobayashi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Mental capacity is a central determinant of patients’ ability to make autonomous decisions about their care and deal with bad news. Physicians should be cognizant of this when giving patients bad news in efforts to help them to cope with the illness and to avoid a deterioration of their mental well-being. To show the importance of this concept, a case of suicide attempt with lung cancer is exemplified. A 76-year-old woman attempted suicide after receiving a diagnosis of lung cancer. Her recent life had been emotionally turbulent and she did not have sufficient mental capacity to accept and cope with this truth. She developed depression before attempting suicide.