Article: Ethical Management of Patients with Cancer and Mental Illness
Authors: Laurel J. Lyckholm, MD, and Arwa K. Aburizik, MD, MS
Journal: AMA Journal of Ethics. May 2017, 19(5):444-453
Patients with co-existing cancer and mental illness must be given special attention due to the vulnerability that is created by their compromised psychological ability to comprehend the meaning of their cancer diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. They are at increased risk for mortality due to many factors arising from their mental illness. To provide them with care that is just and compassionate, clinicians must be empathic and imaginative. Using a case and brief application of theories of justice involving vulnerable populations, we explore practical and ethical issues surrounding the care of patients with mental illness and cancer, arguing that society must provide the resources needed to provide comparable cancer care to those who are more vulnerable.
Link to journal online: http://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/2017/05/ecas4-1705.html