I prefer not to think about death, and I suspect most other people are the same way. Sometimes it is thrust upon us, however, such as when a family member is ill or when a disaster strikes, like a major earthquake or the recent Asiana Airlines crash and Lac-Megantic train derailment. The Quebec Legislature’s introduction of Bill 52, a proposal to legalize physician-assisted suicide, may also have led to increased public awareness and thought regarding end-of-life issues. Current Oncology published a series discussing the right to die and the policy and ethical issues surrounding it.
Tag Archives: Jonathan Klein
by Jonathan Klein, MD
Throughout medical training, two approaches to practice are consistently emphasized: evidence-based and patient-centred medicine. At first blush, the themes seem eminently reconcilable. Evidence-based practice stresses that treatment recommendations derive from properly conducted trials based on sound science; unproven treatments not be recommended (except in exceptional circumstances); and new development should be compared with previous standards to determine its place in clinical practice.
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Oftentimes, after explaining a diagnosis and treatment plan to a patient, physicians hear some variation on “my brother/sister/parent/friend/co-worker had cancer and received radiation/surgery/phase I clinical trial medication. Why am I not receiving this?” The answer may revolve around the idea that different cancers, even different cancers arising from the same part of the body, can be wildly different in biology, treatment, and prognosis. We obviously want to ensure that patients understand their options so that they can make informed decisions about their own care, but couldn’t the medical community do a better job of conveying this concept to the public even before people end up in our clinics?
Oncologic emergencies by Jonathan Klein, MD
Stories about mechanization of industry and the effect of industrialization on workers are centuries old. Ever since the Luddites attacked mechanical looms during the Industrial Revolution, battles have been waged over the social effects of technology and the role it should play in the marketplace.