Bioethics Blogs

Few Patients Understand Their Cancer: Time to Change Our Approach

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

I have a slide that I use when teaching my students about clinical ethics: “80% of ethics consults are about communication.” The only evidence base I have for this statement is a 2005 Norwegian study with a very small subject pool. A more recent study identified communication issues in 45-51% of all cases.  Thus, I was not surprised to see an ABC News piece earlier this week, “Just 5% of Terminally Ill Cancer Patients Fully Understand Prognosis, Study Finds.”  

Of course that turns out not to be the whole story.…

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.