INSIGHTS ON DEATH AND DYING: Doing more harm than good

June 2004 
Volume 34  Number 6
Pages 83 - 83
  PDF Version Available!

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Volume 34(6)             June 2004             p 83 Doing more harm than good [INSIGHTS ON DEATH & DYING: AGGRESSIVE TREATMENT]


A few weeks ago, my favorite aunt died shortly after completing a brutal course of radiation that was supposed to lengthen her life. I think it did the opposite. Being a nurse, I've seen this happen to many patients. What do you think about providing aggressive cancer therapies to terminally ill patients? —R.V., BRITISH COLUMBIA

I think that radiation and chemo-therapy have helped countless people with cancer live longer than they would have without treatment. Some even beat the odds entirely and get cured. That said, I share your distress when patients with extensive disease are led down the road of false hope and undergo chemotherapy and other debilitating treatments that have no long-term ...

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