|What Caught Our Eye (WCOE) Each week, we take a closer look at the cancer policy articles, studies, and stories that caught our attention.|
Dr. Meier asked: “What are you hoping we can accomplish with this treatment?”
After a brief pause, he confessed what I suspected: that it wouldn’t help her.
I struggled for a response. “Would you want me to encourage her to go ahead with it anyway?” I asked.
After another pause, this one longer and more awkward than the last, he told me that he didn’t want her to think he was abandoning her. It seemed that giving more treatment was the only way the oncologist knew to express his care and commitment. To him, stopping treatment was akin to abandoning his patient. And yet the only sense in which she felt abandoned was in her oncologist’s unwillingness to talk with her about what would happen when treatment stopped working.
This article has much to advocate for—not only for well trained providers of palliative care but integral training in ALL medical schools for all physicians across all settings about truth telling to patients and the provision of palliative, humanistic, patient-centered care across all the transitions of life-limiting illnesses—from the moment of diagnosis and through one’s life.
|Post by Ellen Stovall.|