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J Pediatr. 1982 Sep;101(3):471-6.

Therapeutic choices made by patients with end-stage cancer.


The Oklahoma Children's Memorial Hospital Oncology Service has developed a new approach for its patients with end-stage cancer. The emphasis is on the patients' acknowledgement of the progression of the disease and the imminence of death, and informed choice between the use of research drugs and no further chemotherapy. Forty-three patients between 6 and 20 years of age participated in a conference of this type. The results demonstrated that they understood that their health was declining. They decided about further therapy autonomously or together with their family. The majority of children who chose supportive care without chemotherapy and lived for a period of time, participated in activities at home as far as their state of health permitted. Severe depression and severe behavioral problems occurred rarely. There was evidence that this open approach enabled patients and family members to communicate openly with each other.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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