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Ethics of lying


Registered User
Aug 29, 2015
Massachusetts USA

We are still waiting for a diagnosis for my husband. I am lying like crazy to get him to the neurologist's. This doctor has been very helpful. He called me back after I had rung his office to tell him what was going on with my husband, and listened to me and agreed to see him as soon as possible.

I think I'm going to say that the neurologist called me (instead of my husband) by accident, and explained that he would like to run some further tests because my husband's problem with cold feet, which was why he originally had the appointment with the neurologist.

On the one hand, I feel like I would do anything to get an assessment of what is going on. On the other hand, I don't like lying to the man who has been my partner in life for over 25 years.

Just to summarise - my husband is having pretty severe memory and confusion problems, but most recently has been suffering from delusions, mainly that I am not me but another woman who looks just like me. He tried to get me arrested at the US border for impersonating his wife (!)

It does sound like a diagnosis is in order, doesn't it?

Thank you

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
It really does sound like you need a proper diagnosis. The thinking you are someone impersonating his wife sounds like Capgras Syndrome to me.

About the lying, think of it not as lying to your husband, but lying to his disease. Because that's what you're really doing, isn't it? So many of us find it hard to lie to our loved ones. But I think if lying is what keeps them calm, it's worth it. So don't worry too much about the ethics of it. Dementia throws many, many things we consider normal out the window.


Registered User
Mar 13, 2014
As Scarlett has said before there are lies and dementia lies and the latter are essential to avoid agitation and confrontation and ensure our loved ones get the care they need, as they can no longer rationally make those decisions themselves. Hope the consultant can help. xxxxx

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Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
I agree with everyone 'love lies' are an essential part of the life of the carer of a person with dementia. It is a dilemma particularly at first but in the end we do what we have to do in the best interests of our loved ones - exactly as you are doing. Keep going you really need that diagnosis to move forward xx