Excellent short article in STAT news (you should follow them) about why doctors are so bad about telling their patients they are dying. It's here.
I haven't been doing clinical ethics consulting long enough to witness many of these conversations, but they are certainly difficult and often intense. As a sociologist, I'm interested in how people frame such conversations, and the role of clinical ethicists in shaping those framings, and in turn the outcomes. As the author argues, there is much that could be done, but there is a difference between the possible and the reasonable/acceptable.