The role empathy plays in treating terminally ill patients
Kentucky residents with friends or family members who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma know how devastating this diagnosis can be. This is a rare form of cancer that is related to asbestos. It is aggressive, and there is no known treatment for the disease. The medical community is working hard to find ways to improve survival rates and to improve a sufferer’s quality of life. Recent research suggests that physicians should also pay more attention to what they say and how they go about speaking with patients who have been diagnosed with this disease.
When patients were asked what could have been done to improve the quality of the care they received, a number of them talked about what they felt were failures on the part of the physician when it came to communicating. They felt that they were not given accurate or clear enough explanations. They felt that their physician did not seem as empathetic to the situation as they would have hoped the physician to be.
Unquestionably, when a person is diagnosed with mesothelioma, they need aggressive medical care in order to improve their survival time. But physicians need to remember that they are dealing with humans and not with objects. Physicians have the responsibility to care for their patient’s condition and to care for their patient. When the emotional needs of a patient who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer are ignored, the patient feels isolated and hopeless.
One of the biggest needs that patients who have been diagnosed with this form of cancer have is an understanding of why the cancer formed and what it is going to mean for them going forward. Doctors need to make themselves available to give their terminally ill patients better explanations to their questions.
Individuals who are suffering from mesothelioma or those who have family members suffering from this disease may benefit from working with a lawyer who understands the causes of the disease and the responsibilities that others might have when helping to compensate a sufferer. Personal injury attorneys may be able to work with their clients in investigating circumstances that led to developing the disease and identifying all of the parties who may have liability.
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