Telling it Like it is
Date: 10:00 am | Sunday 9 October 2011
Venue: Jervois Room
Oncologist Ranjana Srivastava must frequently utter the three words that no patient wants to hear: ‘You have cancer’. Sometimes she must tell them that they are dying but chooses her words carefully to avoid extinguishing all hope. Scientific training is of little help when confronted with the emotional wilderness of an incurable disease but while drugs might outgrow their usefulness, compassion and respect do not. Patients do not expect doctors to have all the answers but they do hope that doctors will listen to them closely and heed their suffering. This has little to do with the science of medicine and everything to do with the art.