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The general practitioners of 279 patients who died from malignant disease were asked whether they discussed the diagnosis and prognosis with the patients. Thirteen per cent did so. They were more likely to discuss with women than men, and social class patients 1 and 2 than classes 3, 4, and 5. They thought that notwithstanding whether or not the matter had been discussed nevertheless 46 per cent of the patients knew. The chief carers (usually relatives) of the patients thought that 54 per cent of the patients knew.