Bioethics and Cancer: When the Professional Becomes Personal
Rebecca Dresser, JD
Washington University in Saint Louis - School of Law
May 29, 2012
HASTINGS CENTER REPORT, Nov.-Dec. 2011, at 14-18
Scholars in bioethics and health policy often address topics related to cancer, yet few engaged in this work have lived with cancer themselves. Experience as a cancer patient or family caregiver extends and deepens one’s thinking about issues in ethics and health policy. This essay presents material from a project involving seven scholars who have been cancer patients or cared for a spouse with cancer. It describes how personal experience changed and supplemented our understanding of topics like treatment decision-making, patient autonomy, informed consent, and end-of-life care. The essay calls on scholars to give more consideration to the lived experience of illness when analyzing issues in bioethics and health policy.
Keywords: bioethics, cancer patients, family caregiving, treatment decision-making, informed consent, end-of-life careAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: May 30, 2012
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