Working in a healthcare setting: professional and ethical challenges
Working as a counsellor in an oncology unit and as part of a multi-disciplinary team, you see a patient for one-to-one counselling. She tells you that she’s feeling depressed and is tired of taking the long-term treatment prescribed to reduce the chances of the return of her cancer. She experiences uncomfortable side effects and is unsure that she would accept further chemotherapy if she did have a relapse. She says she’s tired, has had enough and wants to stop the treatment. She doesn’t want to share this information with the wider medical team as she thinks they will pressure her into taking the medication and might make her feel guilty for ‘letting them down’. During the session she discloses that she has already stopped taking the medication but is still collecting prescriptions.