Shirley Otis-green, MSW | Authors

Language, the Literature, and the Patient

October 01, 2005

The articles and accompanyingcommentaries in ONCOLOGYprovide important clinical informationbut also an opportunity tocall attention to language projectingattitudes and judgments that are unintended,probably unconscious, andgenerally unchallenged. We note thatrecent articles and reviews refer tothe “patient having failed” treatment;patients are identified with their canceras if they are one, and the descriptionof therapy as “salvage” indirectlycompares the human experience oftreating patients to saving, rescuing,or restoring goods.