Essay on Cancer review

Submitted By 0irish1
Words: 812
Pages: 4

In the article entitled making the Right Decision for My Child with Cancer, The Parental Imperative, authors Janet L. Stewart, Kimberly A. Pyke-Grimm and Katherine P. Kelly (2012) discuss the anguishing decision that parents endure in making the correct treatment decision for their child that has cancer. The authors conducted research that specifically examined parental attitudes towards making the “right decision” when it came to the treatment decision for their child (Stewart et al, 2012). Parents are often facing extreme emotional pain and discomfort, but are well aware of the fact that they serve an important role of making the correct decision for their child at this critical time. The qualitative study was conducted among fifteen parents who had been referred to the authors specifically from the pediatric oncology clinical practices that were affiliated with the author’s institutions, and although the sample size was small, the study was conducted across a wide geographical area (Stewart et al, 2012). Instead of using just one theorist, several theorists, with a focus on decisional conflict, were used to help define the nature of the study (Stewart et al, 2012). The study asked parents to examine and document their feelings about making treatment decisions for their child with cancer. Their feelings and responses were documented through interviews and a set questionnaire before, during and after the treatment decision, instead of setting a specific time frame (Stewart et al, 2012). Following the participants from pretreatment to post treatment allowed the authors to illustrate the changes that occur during the course of treatment of the child. The research methods evolved to accommodate the changes in variables as the study progressed. This allowed for a more accurate depiction of what the participants were actually going through at the time, rather than rigid and set parameters that do not take into consideration that emotions and feelings are not static.
Although both parents made the decision, in a few instances only one parent was interviewed (Stewart et al, 2012). This presents a statistical variable, for in order to ascertain what both parents were experiencing, both parents needed to provide input. According to the article, parents across the board stated the fact that this was a particularly difficult and painful decision, but they also felt that it was part of their duties as a parent. This was not initially a component of the study, but was later uncovered during data analysis. Information from the study indicated that many parents could become frustrated by the fact that some healthcare workers declined to offer their expert opinion as to what course of treatment should be undertaken (Stewart et al, 2012). This is an ethical dilemma many health care workers encounter, as they do not want to bias the parent’s decision by offering personal input regardless of whether or not they are aware of successful treatment modalities. As a healthcare worker it would be essential to make sure that one is not unintentionally prescribing a course of action when discussing various course of treatment. One particularly interesting fact the study uncovered, is that parents did not look back on their decisions with regret (Stewart et al, 2012). Upon further analysis, it was discovered that some parents used their faith as a tool to help them with the