Essay Truth Telling

Paolo Bacigalupi is the author of "Ship Breaker," a 2010 National Book Award Finalist in Young People's Literature. He has also won the Hugo, Nebula and John W. Campbell Awards.

I suspect that young adults crave stories of broken futures because they themselves are uneasily aware that their world is falling apart.

The truth of the world around us is changing and teens want to read something that isn't a lie.

We might pummel them with advertising that says they should buy a new iPod, or Xbox, or Droid XYZ, and that everything in the world is shiny and delightful -- but whether we're looking at the loss of biodiversity, or the depletion of cheap and easily accessible energy, or the hazards of global warming, our children will inherit a world significantly depleted and damaged in comparison to the one our parents handed down to us. And they know it.

With "Ship Breaker," a novel set in a future when oil has run out and New Orleans has drowned under rising sea levels, I was trying to illuminate the sort of world that we adults are handing off to them. In the story, child laborers tear apart ancient oil tankers and freighters, recycling the last valuable resources from "the Accelerated Age." Quality of life is significantly reduced from our present circumstances, and judging from teenagers' responses, they crave precisely that sort of truth-telling. Which doesn't really surprise me. As a teen, I remember that I craved truth-telling as well, and devoured it wherever I could find it.

Unfortunately, the truth of the world around us is changing, and so the literature is morphing to reflect it. Teens want to read something that isn't a lie; we adults wish we could put our heads under the blankets and hide from the scary story we're writing for our kids.

Topics: Culture, books, teenagers

Truth Telling Versus Deception Essay

Healthcare professions have codes of conduct and ethics that address the issue of honesty and trust in relation to patient encounters yet truth-telling (or being honest) versus deception (or being dishonest) has been identified as an ethical issue in hospitals, particularly about diagnosis and prognosis disclosures. Dossa (2010) defines being honest or telling the truth as relating the facts as one knows them. Furthermore, Dossa (2010) states that deception can be an act of dishonesty but also can be without lies. In other words, forms of deception include not giving any information, not giving information of the truth, withholding information, selecting what information to give and not give, and giving vague information.
The most common areas of clinical practice where truth-telling and deception become an ethical dilemma are critical care, cancer and palliative care, mental health and general nursing practice (Tuckett, 2004). Other areas where it can raise potential ethical concerns are in placebo therapy, disclosure of human immunodeficiency virus and informed consent (Tuckett, 2004). Truth-telling is also an act of exchanging moral agents (patients, relatives, nurses) with their sets of values and norms, which in turn are derived from culture, personal and religious beliefs, and traditions (Dossa, 2010). For this reason, the issue of truth-telling is not only approached differently in the various clinical settings but also in different countries, cultures and religions (Kazdaglis et al., 2010). For example, in the United States of America (USA), England, Canada and Finland, the majority of patients are told of their diagnosis (Kazdaglis et al., 2010). Conversely, in Japan, family members play a major role in the decision of whether a physician should inform a patient about the nature of his/her illness. The diagnosis is usually discussed with the family before it is discussed with the patient and the physician commonly complies with the family members’ requests and not with patient requests (Kazdaglis et al., 2010).
Patient Perspective
The literature review reveals that, in general, most patients want truthfulness about their health, but there is evidence that a minority of patients prefer not to know about their health conditions, such as having terminal cancer (Kazdaglis et al., 2010). In a study conducted in 2010 by Cleary, Hunt, Escott, and Walter, the majority (88%) of participants wanted to be told of their diagnosis and treatment options even if the information was distressing, nearly all (92%) agreed they had a legal or moral right to information about their diagnosis, and nearly two thirds thought it was more concerning not to be told. The highest response rates in this study were for staff to provide accurate and reliable information, be honest, and answer patients’ questions, and inform patients of their treatment options and side effects (Cleary, Hunt, Escott, & Walter, 2010).

Although it has been found that most patients...

Loading: Checking Spelling


Read more

Appearence vs. Reality in William Shakespeare's Hamlet

1564 words - 6 pages Appearance vs. Reality       In Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet, there is a dominant and overwhelming theme that is concurrent throughout the play. Throughout the play, all the characters appear as one thing on the outside, yet on the inside they are completely different. The theme of appearance versus reality surrounds Hamlet due to the fact that the characters portray themselves as one person on the outside,...

Deception in Hamlet Essay

1504 words - 6 pages In any war, deception is an absolute necessity. Sun Tzu once said, “All war is based on deception.” These “wars” can be between nations, individuals, or even oneself; but they are all based on deception. William Shakespeare shows the use of deception many different times in his plays, in many different ways. Shakespeare’s Hamlet shows that, not only can deception make or break a plan for revenge, but also cause self deception. From Hamlet using...

Discuss the ways in which two writers you have studied enhance their stories through the exploration and inclusion of lies, deception and betrayal.

926 words - 4 pages The use of lies, deception and betrayal can significantly enhance a novel, keeping the reader's focus and interest throughout the course of the novel. In both "Chronicle of a Death...


696 words - 3 pages In William Shakespeare?s Hamlet, he uses many themes to demonstrate the insanity of Hamlet. Shakespeare?s Hamlet is a classic play about a young price who much ascertain the truth regarding his father?s death. Hamlet is faced with much pretext throughout his attempts to do so. Shakespeare?s usage of appearances, revenge, and deception proved Hamlet?s...

Ethics and Negotiations

534 words - 2 pages Case Study Analysis PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT 1 Running head: CASE STUDY ANALYSIS: ETHICS AND NEGOTIATIONSEthics and NegotiationsAugust 9, 2011Ethics and NegotiationsAccording to Lewicki, Barry, and Saunders (2010), adopting an unethical approach can...

Critical Review - "Who can catch a liar?"

1537 words - 6 pages IntroductionMuch recent psychological research has centred around our capability to identify deception and lies. The ability to detect lies can be beneficial to many organisations including the criminal justice system, the police and even potential employers. Recent studies have endeavoured to show what characteristics are prevalent when we tell lies and what skills are necessary to detect them. There are many psychological processes...

How Self Deception Cracks the Foundational Relation between Living and Saying

4352 words - 17 pages How Self Deception Cracks the Foundational Relation Between Living and SayingPsych 436 (XI)Leendert, MosHow Self Deception Cracks the Foundational Relation between Living and SayingMatt McCann1217259Psychology 436 XI: Self EstrangementDr. Leendert (Leo) P. MosWednesday October 16, 2012AbstractIn order to give an overview of...

Deception of Family in Death of a Salesman and A Doll’s House

1379 words - 6 pages Arthur Miller's classic American play, Death of a Salesman and Henrik Ibsen’s classic play A Doll’s House, expose dysfunctional families and behaviors. In these plays, the themes of innocence, guilt and of truth and are considered through the eyes of deception. Both plays tell us that most of us choose to play roles and deceive, not only those immediately, but distantly around us. In Death of a Salesman the father passes deception to...

To What Extent is an Eyewitness Testimony Credible and Therefore be Used in Court?

2105 words - 8 pages Introduction Scholars and practitioners alike share a widespread belief that the single greatest cause of wrongful conviction is because of an eyewitness testimony. April 23, 2007, marked the 200th criminal conviction exonerated by DNA evidence in the United States of America. According to, over 75% of the 200 criminal cases revealed to be wrongful convictions involved a faulty eyewitness testimony. Collectively, these...

The Downfall of Macbeth

1510 words - 6 pages The Downfall of Macbeth through the Theme of Appearances versus Reality When otherwise intelligent people observe an action or listen to an address, they normally are inclined to believe and accept the idea presented without probing or questioning the matter at hand. Though such a phenomenon is common practice it also is a form of deception. While some do carry, the perception not to believe everything that is seen many do lack that very...

Themes of Deception in William Shakespeare's Othello

2682 words - 11 pages Themes of Deception in William Shakespeare's Othello Deception is one of the main themes running through Othello, along with love, pride and society. Indeed, it is deception that provides the fuel for the plot and deception that is leads to the classic downfall of the 'hero' as is common in Shakespeare tragedies. We see Macbeth and Hamlet both succumb to downfall. perhaps the most obvious deception is Iago's deception....

0 Thoughts to “Essay Truth Telling

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *