What If?: Dealing with End-Stage Cancer and Religious Coping
What if you had end-stage cancer and you were nearing the end of your life?
What if you had been using religion to cope with your cancer and its consequences?
What if both of the above “what ifs” applied to YOU and there was intensive life-prolonging care and treatment such as mechanical ventilation and resuscitation available in the last week of your life? Would you desire and accept that treatment?
The study by Phelps, Maciejewski and others in the March 18, 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association has led to a very interesting statistically significant conclusion: “Positive religious coping in patients with advanced cancer is associated with receipt of intensive life-prolonging medical care near death” and this relationship was still statistically significant after “adjusting for other coping styles, terminal illness acknowledgment, support of spiritual needs, preference for heroics, and advance care planning (do-not-resuscitate order, living will, and health care proxy/durable power of attorney)”
Read the free complete abstract of the article at the link above and then return and give us your opinion of this research finding and how it might apply to you if you were that “what if”. If this study is valid, how would you explain how using religion in dealing with the consequences of cancer would make it more likely that a patient would want mechanical ventilation, if needed for life-support, during the last week of life? Would it be related to religion and miracles? Or what? ..Maurice.
Graphic: Photograph taken by me and digitally modified with Picasa3.