Right, Dr Rilly Ray stresses the importance of facing up to the reality of the approaching death.

Experts give advice to the terminally ill, their care givers and bereaved at workshop organised by the Singapore Pastoral Institute and Catholic Nurses Guild.

"IT IS ALWAYS better to tell the patient the truth (that he is dying)," said Dr Rilly Ray, "as it allows the patient to have a more peaceful death, contrary to what well-meaning family members may think."

Dr Ray, a pioneer with the Home Nursing Foundation, was one of four speakers at the Pastoral Care for the Terminally Ill and Bereaved workshop. She was speaking at the session on preparing the family and terminally ill person for inevitable death. The two-day workshop was held at the Catholic Archdiocesan Education Centre on Nov 12 and 13.

She stressed the importance of facing up to the reality of the approaching death, rather than avoiding the issue.

Family members often think that if a person knows that he is dying, he may give up on life. However, knowing the truth relieves the emotional and psychological pain which doctors cannot treat. It is a pain in which only the truth helps, she said.

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