Étude de la relation entre principe d'autonomie, objectif thérapeutique, et obstination déraisonnable en cancérologie : enjeux liés au discours médical et perspectives thérapeutiques

Abstract : The patient-doctor relationship as evolved during the past decades toward a more important role of patients in medical decisions. In France, two laws were passed in the last ten years, reinforcing patients' autonomy at the end-of-life. In the same time, the improvement of medical capacities and abilities have created new situations. In some of them, all medical abilities are deployed leading to an artificial prolongation of life, with no clear benefit for the patient while toxicity can be unbearable. Oncology has particularly been concerned by this global evolution of medicine. Recent evolutions in treatments have raised a strong demand for life prolongation and cure. Nevertheless, most cancers when at the metastatic stage are incurable and fatal diseases. In this setting, the path from diagnosis to end-of-life implies numerous and important decisions for which different arguments can be balanced. Decision making in this context is often complex and difficult. International studies report a high level of aggressiveness in the end-of-life care of oncology patients. Moreover, this phenomenon has increased in the past years. The contrast is striking between, on the one hand the demand of the society translating into laws reinforcing the patients' rights at the end-of-life, and on the other hand the high level in the aggressiveness of end-of-life care. This contrast gives evidence of a persistent tension in the decision making process, including at the end-of-life. This tension is particularly important in oncology, where many decisions are to be made at the end-of-life. In this manuscript, following an ethical approach, we describe the setting of care in oncology and characterize an excessive aggressiveness in end-of-life care. The studies presented suggest resources to avoid or decrease this aggressiveness of care. First with advanced discussions, allowing to reinforce the role of patients in end-of-life decisions. Second with an integrated medicine approach, resulting in a limitation of the risk of error in the oncologist decision making process across incurable-cancer care. Finally, acting on the oncologist communication may reveal essential.
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Olivier Huillard. Étude de la relation entre principe d'autonomie, objectif thérapeutique, et obstination déraisonnable en cancérologie : enjeux liés au discours médical et perspectives thérapeutiques. Ethique. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016USPCB207⟩. ⟨tel-02016423⟩

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