Sadie Fineman: A Question of Denial?

David Barnard, Patricia Boston R.N., Anna Towers and Yanna Lambrinidou

in Crossing Over

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780195123432
Published online November 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199999835 | DOI:
Sadie Fineman: A Question of Denial?

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This chapter discusses Sadie Fineman, an 80 year old with a large cancerous mass in her pancreas, and the denial of Ms. Fineman's family in accepting the gravity of the situation and her impending death. Ms. Fineman underwent a course of experimental therapy; however, her tumor continued to grow. In lieu of treatments, she and her family were offered palliative care, which they accepted on the grounds that Ms. Fineman would be home cared even though there were times when the nursing care she required exceeded the knowledge and skills of her family. Adding to this challenge, the Fineman family imposed that the word “cancer” should be avoided by the caregivers at all costs and in dealing with the patient. This arrangement kept the truth from Ms. Fineman until her last days, when she actually began to believe she was dying.

Keywords: cancerous mass; pancreas; denial; experimental therapy; home cared; nursing care; truth

Chapter.  7778 words. 

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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