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The Patient's Wish to DieResearch, Ethics, and Palliative Care$
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Christoph Rehmann-Sutter, Heike Gudat, and Kathrin Ohnsorge

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198713982

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198713982.001.0001

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Expressed desire for hastened death in seven patients living with advanced cancer

Expressed desire for hastened death in seven patients living with advanced cancer

a phenomenologic inquiry

(p.29) Chapter 3 Expressed desire for hastened death in seven patients living with advanced cancer
The Patient's Wish to Die

Nessa Coyle

Lois Sculco

Oxford University Press

Individuals living with advanced cancer sometimes express the desire for a hastened death or for death to come more quickly. The need to have a clear understanding of what such an expression means and what the individual is asking for is present at both an individual and societal level. Numerous studies both quantitative and qualitative have examined the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual factors that influence the desire for hastened death. This chapter reprints an early phenomenological investigation published in 2004 which was one of the first qualitative studies in the setting of an urban cancer centre (in New York City) to explore the meanings and uses of an expressed desire for hastened death in advanced cancer patients. It was concluded that expressing a desire for hastened death has many meanings and uses and is a tool of communication.

Keywords:   advanced cancer, desire for hastened death, phenomenological investigation, qualitative studies

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