Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Oncol Nurs Forum. 2004 Jul 13;31(4):699-709. Print 2004 Jul.

Expressed desire for hastened death in seven patients living with advanced cancer: a phenomenologic inquiry.

Author information

  • 1Pain and Palliative Care Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA. coylen@mskcc.org.

Abstract

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES:

To explore the meanings and uses of an expressed desire for hastened death in seven patients living with advanced cancer.

DESIGN:

A phenomenologic inquiry.

SETTING:

Urban cancer research center.

SAMPLE:

Terminally ill patients with cancer who had expressed a desire for hastened death.

METHODS:

A series of in-depth semistructured interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, coded, and organized into themes.

FINDINGS:

The expression of desire for hastened death had many meanings and uses and communicated the following: (a) a manifestation of the will to live, (b) a dying process so difficult that an early death was preferred, (c) an intolerable immediate situation, even if not specifically identified by a patient, required immediate action, (d) a hastened death could extract a patient from an unendurable and specific situation, (e) manifestation of the last control the dying can exert, (f) a way of drawing attention to "me as a unique individual," (g) a gesture of altruism, (h) an attempt at manipulation of the family to avoid abandonment, and (i) a despairing cry depicting the misery of the current situation.

CONCLUSIONS:

Expression of desire for hastened death has many meanings and uses and is a tool of communication.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING:

Listening to the patient's story will help nurses understand what is being asked for through the expression of a desire for hastened death.

PMID:
15252426
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk