CANCER PATIENT AUTONOMY. This is the single most important concept the reader of this book must grasp. It is the fundamental principle that all humans are independent moral agents with the personal capacity to make moral decisions and act on them. It follows that life is about choice, ideally your informed choices from the Greek autonomia, meaning “self-rule.” Individuals are autonomous when their actions are truly their own without coercion or inappropriate influence.
Absolutely one of the most anchoring truths in both caring for cancer patients and being cared for is patient autonomy. The patient is the one with the disease. After all the health care system can do to make information and access to care available, the final decision of the competent adult patient is theirs, as it should be.
Multiple Supreme Court rulings have long made it clear that “No right is held more sacred, or is more carefully guarded, by the common law, than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law and “Every human being of adult years and sound mind has a right to determine what shall be done with his own body; and a surgeon who performs an operation without his patient’s consent commits assault, for which he is liable in damages” (Refs on request) Thus, patient autonomy refers to the capability and right of patients to control the course of their own medical treatment and participate in the treatment decision-making process.
In “When Tumor Is The Rumor,” you will see that physicians and their teams must fully inform their patients to the best their ability and the best of the patients’ ability to understand. Health care providers lead the patient to intelligence. However, it is the patient’s job, once lead, to think..
God gave you the gift of choice and the greater gift of sufficient intelligence to make those choices if you are sufficiently informed. That is exactly what this book does. INFORMED patients must know the power they rightfully can claim. So empowered, they will be able to transform the pain of anxiety, fear of the unknown, into the hero producing powers behind fear which are a God given hard wired set of emotional, physical and intellectual responses that can and do lead us to wise, autonomous personal decisions
Furthermore, we will now look at the nature of anxiety versus fear, the persona of cancer, so to speak, some operational details of the world of oncology and finally the persona of the your major ally in the fight, your oncologist. Then we can jump in together, arm and arm with hearts, heads and minds aligned and learn what to do When Tumor Is the Rumor and Cancer Is The Answer.