Bioethics Blogs

Treating Cancer: Doing Nothing is Also a Choice

James Salwitz, a New Jersey oncologist recently colorfully observed: “Too many times patients are dragged away to receive therapy after therapy, until they are wasted, decrepit and dead.”

Unfortunately, this is not always easy to convey to patients.  Dr. Salwitz had told his patient:  “You do not have to do anything. There is no law or rule requiring you to undergo aggressive therapy.”  But the patient heard those words and said, to himself, “Dr. Salwitz is giving up on me.” The patient’s trust in Dr. Salwitz was gone and he transferred his care to another physician.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.