Richard Johnson: “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”

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:
Richard Johnson: “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”

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This chapter discusses the case of Richard Johnson, a 51 year old who had an advanced carcinoma of the prostrate. Its emphasis is on the aggressiveness and the determination of young people to fight cancer to the end. On the diagnosis of his disease, Mr. Johnson refused chemotherapy. However, when his diseased became advanced, he opted for aggressive treatments. Despite the fact that chemotherapy was a purely experimental treatment, Mr. Johnson nevertheless hoped that the treatment would prolong his life. He preferred an inpatient palliative care program, as this gave him assurance that he would be provided with aggressive biomedical interventions. The Johnsons were involved with the medical decisions down to the last detail; however, Mr. Johnson often did not involve his wife in crucial decisions. Mr. Johnson died of a conflicted death and this was reflected in how his wife and sons grieved for him.

Keywords: advanced carcinoma; prostrate; aggressiveness; determination; aggressive treatments; prolong life; biomedical interventions

Chapter.  8561 words. 

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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