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Book and Media Reviews
October 10, 2012

Malignant: Medical Ethicists Confront Cancer

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Contributing Editor.

Author Affiliation: Carle Cancer Center, Urbana, Illinois (james.egner@carle.com).

JAMA. 2012;308(14):1483-1484. doi:10.1001/jama.308.14.1483

The 7 academic bioethicists who authored chapters in this book encountered cancer personally as survivors, primary caregivers, or both. Some were theoreticians, some saw patients, all were scholars. They described their experiences, collaborated, and commented on the cancer disease process, diagnostics, and treatment. Although familiar with the medical system in the United States, they felt unprepared for their experiences and at times “disoriented and unsure how to proceed.” Some of this was attributable to the pace and to pressures to act and decide quickly despite multiple options often having consequences of severe adverse effects and uncertain outcomes.