TITLE

The Story of Margaret and Her Family: Forced Choices, Obligations, and Hope

AUTHOR(S)
Carnevale, Franco A.
PUB. DATE
May 2004
SOURCE
Pediatric Nursing;May/Jun2004, Vol. 30 Issue 3, p238
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Case Study
ABSTRACT
The article presents a case study of a terminally ill child suffering from brain tumor and how such situations bring together many different views about right and wrong. Some families will believe in hope, God and miracles while others will believe in scientific causal explanations. For some, mental function is a central feature of a life worth sustaining, whereas for those who believe in the soul, the worth of a life cannot be situated in the brain. For some, aging represents degeneration and decline (and therefore less worthy of some resuscitative therapies) whereas others regards aging with respect and dignity. In some situations, one person's hope can be another person's denial. The patient's story also highlights how a disparity of explanatory frameworks can result in divergent conceptions of the value or an individual child's life. Differing views of how to aggressively pursue curative therapy risk the emergence of misunderstandings over the worth or value of a particular child's life. Limitations of treatment, wherein health care professionals are aiming to protect terminally ill children from needless adverse effects, can be mistakenly interpreted as giving up on my child wherein "you don't consider it worthwhile to save my child anymore."
ACCESSION #
13620801

 

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