Dad with serious health issues - 1243733

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Dad with serious health issues - 1243733

My dad has several very serious health issues. The main 3 that we are struggling with now are the very severe COPD, stage 3B lung cancer and he is a alcoholic. He is in pain every day and struggles to breathe at all times. He does not take care of himself and I'm pretty sure he has given up. He is currently taking 10 treatments of radiation and wants to discontinue any further treatments. His oncologists refuses to take no for an answer. He insists daddy continue with at least 25 treatments. My dad does not want to continue due to chest pain and other symptoms he's experienceing during the radiation. His COPD is what's so bad at this point but his oncologists doesn't even acknowledge the copd. How do we convince him to let us stop and quit pressuring dad to continue.

Dr West
Reply To: Dad with serious health issues

I'm sorry you're facing such a difficult time with his doctor, all on top of him facing such a hard diagnosis and overall situation.

It should really go without saying that the patient has the final word on what treatments are acceptable, as long as his is an informed decision of the potential risks and benefits for the various options. Moreover, it sounds like he is very reasonable in wanting to limit his treatment, based on his concern of experiencing symptoms from possible over-treatment beyond what he can safely (or at least comfortably) handle.

What about having him see a different physician or set of physicians if his doctors won't let him exercise some autonomy over his own health care decisions?

-Dr. West

Dr. Howard (Jack) West
Associate Clinical Professor
Medical Oncology
City of Hope Cancer Center
Duarte, CA

Founder & President
Global Resource for Advancing
Cancer Education