What is the difference between denial and collusion?

  • Denial is when a healthcare professional refuses to tell a patient their diagnosis for the protection of the patient whereas collusion is when healthcare professionals and the patient agree on the information to be told to relatives and friends.

  • Denial is when a patient refuses treatment and collusion is when a patient agrees to it.

  • Denial is a coping mechanism used by an individual with the intention of protecting themselves from painful or distressing information whereas collusion is the withholding of information from the patient with the intention of ‘protecting them’.