Ethics and Oncology is a new blog for CancerNetwork written by Paul R. Helft, MD, director at the Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics and associate professor of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine.
As is nearly always the case with international travel, and especially in a place so different from what we are accustomed to in the United States, the whole experience was delightfully eye-opening, both for those dimensions of medical care and education that struck me as remarkably similar, as well as those that seemed wholly foreign.
I have come to the conclusion that a successful systematic approach to earlier transitions from disease-directed cancer therapy to end-of-life and palliative care can only come from better communication in the context of more trusting relationships.
“Personalized medicine” holds its promise only at the substantial cost of widespread use of the awesome tools of molecular science, and at a time of intense scrutiny of the costs and benefits of medical treatments, can we really afford it?
How will we deal with patients and families who, given their tremendous access to information, learn about and demand expensive (and up until now reasonable) treatments once we have recast them as too expensive to justify their marginal benefits? Are we prepared to engage in such discussions directly?
CHEERFUL ONCOLOGIST Craig R. Hildreth
DR EAGLE RX David Eagle
ETHICS AND ONCOLOGY Paul R. Helft
HEMATOLOGY LETTERS Mojtaba Akhtari
MOBILE HEALTH UPDATE The iMedicalApps Editors
MUSINGS OF A CYNICAL CURMUDGEON Frederic W. Grannis Jr.