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