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Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2019 Jan 8:e27608. doi: 10.1002/pbc.27608. [Epub ahead of print]

Ethical issues in the care of adolescent and young adult oncology patients.

Author information

1
Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.
2
Division of Psychology, Department of Pediatric Medicine, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.
3
Department of Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.
4
Division of Quality-of-Life and Palliative Care, Department of Oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.

Abstract

The diagnosis and treatment of cancer leads to short-term and long-term challenges for every patient. This is especially true for adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer who strive to gain independence, autonomy, confidence, and social status while developing into adulthood. In this article, we review prominent ethical issues in AYA oncology that are related to autonomy, shared decision-making, care refusal or abandonment, end-of-life care, truth telling, and fertility preservation. Clinicians should recognize that AYA patients develop at their own pace; the onus lies with clinicians to determine the patient's interests, values, maturity, and desire to participate in decision-making.

KEYWORDS:

adolescent and young adult oncology; bioethics; clinical ethics

PMID:
30623573
DOI:
10.1002/pbc.27608

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