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Palliative Care And Communication Experiences in the Clinic by Anne-Mei The

Palliative Care And Communication Experiences in the Clinic


Palliative Care And Communication Experiences in the Clinic by Anne-Mei The

Palliative Care and Communication seeks explanations for the sense of optimism found among patients with small-cell bronchial carcinoma or lung cancer. Over a period of five years the author used ethnographic research methods to monitor the illness processes of patients from the time of receiving bad news until their death, from the perspectives of the various people involved: the patient, family and relatives, the doctors and nursing staff. Based on narrative descriptions, interspersed with observations, the author demonstrates 'why things happen the way they do in practice'. The book explores informal codes, ambiguous messages, the dilemma between professional detachment and personal involvement, patterns of information and communication during the phases of the illness, the latent realisation of approaching death, and the ambivalence of patients with regard to 'knowing and not knowing'. Anne-Mei The's engaging writing style and extensive use of narrative make this book accessible to a wide range of readers: doctors, nurses, policy-makers, patients, relatives, researchers in the field of health care, and social scientists. It is suitable for use on various branches of medical and nursing training to illustrate the process of communication with patients during the terminal phase of a patient's illness.


I would recommend this book to all professionals who work with cancer patients as it offers a valuable, honest and critical account of the way they cope with their illness. - Christiane Banton

About the Author

Anne-Mei The is a senior researcher working at the Department of Social Medicine and Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine at the VU University Medical Center and project leader of the COPZ Noord Nederland (Northern Netherlands Centre for Palliative Care). She studied cultural anthropology at the University of Amsterdam, and law at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. For the past ten years she has been involved in ethnographic research on medical end-of-life decisions and communication with patients in the terminal phase of life. A former Research Fellow in Psychosocial Oncology with the Dutch Cancer Foundation, she published her first book in 1997, 'Tonight at 8 o'clock...': nursing dilemmas concerning euthanasia and other end-of-life decisions, Houten, Bohn Stafleu Van Loghum.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st May 2002


Anne-Mei The

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Open University Press


272 pages


Palliative medicine
Health systems & services

Sociology: death & dying
Coping with death & bereavement
Medical ethics & professional conduct



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