Bringing to life the research evidence of routine doctor-patient deception with provocative anecdotes and wrenching case histories, this examination also reveals actions that can be taken to protect against these unethical practices. Positing that doctors routinely and systematically withhold the truth from their patients or distort it and that this lack of truthfulness is learned and fostered in medical schools, it suggests that this creates a culture of deceit and condescension among doctors and a sense of helplessness among patients. Answering the questions 'Why do doctors lie? Is it legal? and Do significant numbers of American patients want their doctors to shield them from the truth?' this guide takes a patient-advocacy approach in which specific steps that can be taken are provided. A chapter on patients' rights organisations is also included, encouraging collective patient action.