Whose lung is it anyway?

Treasure, T.
January 2002
Thorax;Jan2002, Vol. 57 Issue 1, p3
Academic Journal
The central point of the argument in this article is that it is the patient, not the doctors, who should decide whether to take the risk of an operation in the hope of curing lung cancer. The author agrees, and knows from working with a number of chest physicians on a regular basis that the patient's preference is genuinely central in decisions made about treatment. What is less certain is whether the choices being made are as explicit and as fully informed as would be necessary to implement decision analysis as espoused in this paper. The purpose of this article is to ground the ideas in the context of current clinical practice and to see how near or far physicians are from patient determined decision making. Firstly, the diagnosis must be known--including stage and cell type-and an estimate of prognosis made before the decision table can be entered.


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