chapter  3
23 Pages

The patient’s perspective

Not often enough do we have the opportunity to access patients’ words, thoughts, experiences, questions, and narratives at their weakest and most impaired states. Here, we consider what the perspective of the patient is in light of their perpeteiaAristotle’s reference to the event that changes your course suddenly and swiftly. At the core of interest here are palliative care communication scripts and narratives that emerge from the patient experience of serious and terminal illness. Recognizing a new identity through the changes in their life to suppressing the reality of those changes are the ends of the continuum of response to illness. Presented with illness, a patient is faced with a formidable number of communication challenges and participants. A patient’s performance of self in the face of grave illness teaches all of us how we might be better stewards of those navigating the grueling demands of severe illness, survival, and dying.