Table 3

Number (%) of medical and law students in favour of informing or not informing about the diagnosis or prognosis of cancer if the patient asks to be told the truth

(1) Diagnosis(2) Prognosis
Medical studentsLaw studentsMedical studentsLaw students
ScoreM (n=127)M1 (n=64)M2 (n=63)L (n=168)L1 (n=75)L2 (n=93)M (n=127)M1 (n=64)M2 (n=63)L (n=168)L1 (n=75)L2 (n=93)
*Mann-Whitney.
†Between the two groups of students from the same faculty.
‡Students from the younger group M2 less often agreed to tell the patient about the diagnosis.
Group M1 : 64 medical students at the end of their fifth year in 1996.
Group M2 : 63 medical students at the beginning of their fifth year in 1996.
Group L1 : 75 first to fourth year law students from an “international law” lecture in 1996.
Group L2 : 93 mostly first year law students from a “law and medicine” lecture in 1996.
Bold = all medical students; all law students.
1. Certainly tell 92 (72.4) 50 (78.1)42 (66.7) 129 (76.8) 58 (77.3)71 (76.3) 37 (29.1) 20 (31.3)17 (27.0) 91 (54.2) 42 (56.0)49 (52.7)
2. Probably tell 35 (27.6) 14 (21.9)21 (33.3) 32 (19.0) 13 (17.3)19 (20.4) 57 (44.9) 23 (35.9)34 (54.0) 47 (28.0) 22 (29.3)25 (26.9)
3. As likely to tell or not 0 00 5 (2.9) 3 (4.0)2 (2.2) 16 (12.5) 12 (18.8)4 (6.3) 9 (5.4) 3 (4.0)6 (6.5)
4. Probably do not tell 0 00 2 (1.2) 1 (1.3)1 (1.1) 13 (10.2) 8 (12.5)5 (7.9) 17 (10.1) 8 (10.7)9 (9.7)
5. Certainly do not tell 0 00 0 00 4 (3.1) 1 (1.6)3 (4.8) 4 (2.4) 04 (4.3)
p Value* (law versus med.) 0.55 0.0003
p Value* (same faculty†)0.15‡0.910.630.44