Decision-making of cancer patients about end-of-life: The lived experience- Angela Katrina G Fonte- Far Eastern University
Understanding the perception of an end-stage cancer patient about end-of-life decision making can help the patient’s relatives, healthcare providers and the person himself or herself in attaining the best quality of life in their exit event. The aim of this study is to deeply gain an understanding of the voice and feelings of stage 4 cancer patients in making decisions for end-of-life. The study was conducted using a qualitative phenomenological approach. Five participants who are of sound mind and able to make rational decisions shared their preferences. The participants were selected using a non-probability, criterion, purposive sampling. Data were gathered through the use of a semi-structured interview. Four major themes emerged from the analysis of the data. The themes were leaving protracted misery divesting the burden, feeling of complacency and living in a former time. These themes encircles mainly on the issue of cycle of suffering and prolonging one???s agony with the use of life-saving measures which can reduce the quality of life. Findings of the study revealed that end-of-life decision making is encapsulated with different factors which include physical discomfort and exhaustion, emotional distress, spiritual dilemma and financial burden. Recommendations include educational training for nurses about end-of-life care and discussion of ethical issues, culturally competent care and management of patients who are facing end-of-life decision making. It is also recommended that physicians should take the lead and explore the end-of-life preferences of patients and their families.