Clinicians as Communication Coaches

Preparing Patients for Difficult Conversations

Betty R. Ferrell, PhD, RN


March 23, 2018

Tired of Treatment

Paulo is a 49-year-old man with a recurrent brain tumor; he is now hospitalized after experiencing seizures. The tumor was diagnosed when Paulo was 44 years of age, and he has had extensive surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

Three months ago, the brain tumor team advised Paulo and his family that there were no further treatment options; his family then took him to Mexico, where he has had numerous herbal therapies and traditional folk remedies. He has experienced weight loss, increasing severe headaches, nausea, and now seizures.

After a severe seizure last week, his girlfriend brought him back to the emergency department for care. He says that he is tired of treatment and being taken far away and wishes that his girlfriend and children would "give up and just let me be at home, so I can play with my dog and be with my friends."


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