Cancer: A Failure to Communicate

TitleCancer: A Failure to Communicate
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsPeterson-Iyer, K
PublisherSanta Clara University, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
KeywordsBIOETHICS , Diversity , MEDICINE , NURSING , Social Work
AbstractA case study of how cultural misunderstandings interfere with medical care for a cancer patient. An Iranian patient who speaks fluent Farsi but limited English, is admitted to the hospital. The language barrier proves extremely difficult when nurses attempt to get a detailed patient history, and there are a number of misunderstandings when the doctor tells the patient that he has lung cancer and describes the chemotherapy treatment. In the end, the patient refuses treatment. How should the hospital have handled the situation differently? Includes expert commentaries.
NotesMarkkula Center for Applied Ethics, Culturally Competent Care for Muslims
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