I would love to get nursing feedback on a particular case: how to approach a situation where a woman presents for screening (in this scenario, cervical cancer), is eventually diagnosed with cervical cancer and then declines all treatment. My initial thought is, of course everyone has the personal right to opt in or out of any treatment. But my concern is, how much of her decision has to do with a very low health literacy and what is our role in informing and advocacy? After the patient makes her decision, what is an appropriate amount of patient contact to have to insure she understands the risks and benefits of her choice?
For those of you in or around Boston, there will be a conference on Ethics and Health sponsored by the Harvard Global Health Institute (not on this patient case). The conference will take place on Thursday and Friday, April 19-20th. Conference agenda can be found at http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic202675.files/Ethics_Conference_Age.... And registration can be completed at http://fs6.formsite.com/harvardhigh/form69/index.html.