June 2005, Volume 35 Number 6 , p 66 - 67
© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Volume 35(6) June 2005 p 66–67 Letting Lisa go [INSIGHTS ON DEATH & DYING: PEDIATRIC CANCER PATIENT]
UFEMA, JOY RN, MS
I'm caring for Lisa, 10, who has a rare and aggressive brain tumor with a poor prognosis. Bright and articulate, she told me months ago that she wasn't afraid to die and didn't want to undergo chemotherapy. But her parents convinced her to give it a try, even though the response rate was less than 5% .
The treatment wasn't effective, and now Lisa is nearing the end of her life. She seems to have accepted this, yet her parents won't give up. Yesterday I heard her dad say, “You can't die now; we need you!”
I'm deeply troubled by this and want to help the child—but how? —K.S., ONTARIO
This situation's extremely difficult ...