Project coordinated by Christian Hervé
« Ethics and cancer » is a multidisciplinary program aiming to study the patient-caregiver relationship. On the one hand, we have a patient with his psychological and social representations; the patient-caregiver relationship in oncology is so complex and ambivalent that it often goes beyond simple, clear data transmission (J. T. Ptacek et al., JAMA 1996). On the other hand, in an evidence-based medical system, decision-making is almost uniquely based on clinical guidelines. There is often a need for healthcare professionals, to alleviate the violence of their own words when informing patients about their diagnosis or the progress of their disease (A. M. et al., The BMJ 2000). As most cancer-related information – at every stage of the disease- is experienced as a deadly, or lethal shock, the way information is delivered has become increasingly important as part of the treatment itself (N. Alby E. d. temps, 1995). A “therapeutic ”approach of “the ways to tell things” in the cancer field has to include an analysis of the understanding and expectations of patients.
Introducing ethics into the patient/caregiver relationship opens a pathway for better, personalized medicine. The “ethics and cancer” program explores different approaches in different locations: colorectal, head and neck, haematology, kidney, lung cancers.