A negative event that seriously undermines the health of an individual can be approached in different ways. In the presence of a terminal illness, communication depends also what was said - or not said - earlier. The problem of truth or silence seems to be important for this delicate stage of the life. The communication of the terminal illness runs in a number of different problems that need to be integrated into a single model that would bring together the clinical skills and genuine empathy. The ethics of communication must take into account the relationship with the patient, in a perspective of shared autonomy.
Keywords: End of life, palliative care, communication, ethics, life threatening, terminal patient.