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My doctors want to terminate my care! What are my rights?
Aug 18, 2002

Dr Dezube, I started 4 weeks of Radiation to my neck.Last week my hematocrit was 14 and I was transfused with 4 units of blood. Since then my Radiation-Oncologist makes me that feel he wants me out.I KNOW i'm going to die but he told me if I do the 4 weeks it will give me quality time and i deserve it,I have fought this monster for two years. Do i have any rights to continue with treatment or can they deny it to me. I'm putting myself through this all to have time with people I love. I'll be dammed if i let two Doctors get cold feet and screw me over.Could you let me know my rights,thank you john.

Response from Dr. Dezube

Dear John: That's quite a moving query you sent. All patients have a right to the very best care, which is possible; no exceptions to this rule. The question, which arises, is what is the best care. Sometimes a treatment is denied to a patient because a doctor feels it simply doesn't work. For example, if you physician feels that a certain type of chemotherapy or radiation never works for your type of cancer (you did not specify what type of cancer you have), then you do not have an absolute right to get that therapy since it would not be void as "best care". Your emotions are quite strong and are understandable, particularly if you have limited time as outlined in your mail. What would I suggest?--- Is there a go-between (a family member, a clergy member, a friend, or a medical professional whom you do trust) who can speak to your two doctors and sort this out? Things aren't always as they seem. Is there anyone in the medical system whom you can rely on. I beseech you to find such a person so that you can get some peace-of-mind. Good luck. Please write back and let me know how things turn out.


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