Barry Ashpole’s Media Watch (#472)

Barry Ashpole Media Watch

The latest issue of Media Watch, compiled and annotated by Barry R. Ashpole (Ontario, Canada) can now be downloaded here. More reports can be found at IPCRC.NET

Articles from the Asia Pacific Region

South Korea – Advance care planning in South Korea: Social work perspective

SOCIAL WORK IN HEALTH CARE, 2016;57(7):545-558. As ethical issues arise concerning the continua- tion of futile medical treatment for dying patients in Korean society, advance directive planning (ACP) ini- tiatives have been put into place to guide practice. Seventy-three percent of the [survey] participants re- ported no knowledge of advance directives. Social workers who emphasized self-determination as a pro- fessional value, professed a preference for hospice care, and who were comfortable discussing death were more likely to have a positive attitudes toward ACP.

Specialist Publications – Experiences of interpreters in supporting the transition from oncology to palliative care: A qualitative study

ASIA-PACIFIC JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY | Online – 20 July 2016 – Medical consultations focused on managing the transition to palliative care (PC) are interpersonally challenging and require high levels of communicative competence. In the context of non-English speaking patients, communication challenges are further complicated due to the requirement of interpreting; a process with the potential to add intense layers of complexity in the clinical encounter, such as misunderstanding, misrepresentation and power imbalances. The aim of the study was to explore the experiences and perspectives of professional interpreters in supporting the transition of culturally and linguistically diverse patients to specialist PC. Four key themes emerged: 1) The challenges of translating the meaning of “palliative care”; 2) Managing interpreting in the presence of family care-givers; 3) Communicating and expressing sensitivity while remaining professional and interpreters’ own emotional burden of difficult clinic encounters between doctor; and, 4) Patient negotiations. The results suggest that interpreters face a range of often concealed interpersonal and interprofessional challenges and recognition of such dynamics will help provide necessary support for these key stakeholders in the transition to PC.

Article highlighted to be of particular interest:

Embracing inherent uncertainty in advanced illness

THE BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL | Online – 18 July 2016 – Everyone dies, but uncertainty about how and when that will happen is inevitable. Uncertainty can be seen as an “enemy” to be constrained by medical science. Work continues on tools that try to provide a reliable prognosis for people with advanced health conditions as far as six or 12 months ahead on the grounds that meaningful choices require robust evidence of risk of death. However, such tools are not reliable when applied to individuals. Uncertainty also drives fears about future debility, loss of control, and either inadequate or excessive healthcare. The authors question the perception that uncertainty is a barrier to appropriate person centred care towards the end of life. Uncertainty may in fact be more friend than foe. An unpredictable but evident risk of deteriorating and dying should be a trigger for planning care with all people who have an advanced illness and in all care settings. It offers a prime opportunity to accept and manage the inherent uncertainties of living and dying well with progressive, advanced conditions.

Published on: 5 August, 2016 | Last modified: 5 August, 2016