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Commentary

Oncology Nursing as Ethical Practice

Margaret Barton-Burke
ONF 2015, 42(3), 214 DOI: 10.1188/15.ONF.214

Many of us have patients we remember who left us with lasting memories. One such patient I cared for was a young man from Ghana. This young man had a wife, two children, and terminal cancer. He would not discuss the seriousness of his illness with his doctors, his nurses, his wife, or his community. However, from his hospital bed, he decided to go to Ghana to visit his mother. I was the clinical nurse specialist on the oncology unit at the time, and the nurses on the unit became upset with this man’s plan because they knew that he would probably never return from Ghana. He would not die with his wife or his children surrounding his bedside, as in a U.S. healthcare setting. He would die with his mother in his country—in his own way.

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