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Terminal illness and bad news for the patient - how do Poles react to that?

nyana 1 | -  
30 Oct 2009 /  #1
I have some questions that I need for my project in school, I couldn't find them on line please someone answer, by the way I am not polish.

how do polish people respond to serious or terminal illness?

Do they hide the bad news from the patient?

Who in the family is told the bad news?

Do they use interpreter, if so does he/she should be the same gender as patient, older?
30 Oct 2009 /  #2
As far as the latter's concerned, in Poland, an interpreter would seem key, especially where technical or medical are involved:-)
gumishu 11 | 5,857  
30 Oct 2009 /  #3
I don't think there any rules to it - just depends on the sensitivity/attitude of the doctor involved
ChrisPoland 2 | 123  
31 Oct 2009 /  #4
Unfortunately, I have a lot of experience with the Polish health care system.

Latest case in the family:
50 year old woman with terminal breast cancer. The misunderstanding between the doctors and the patient was such that she thinks that she's going in for more chemo/radiation and that she will survive. The reality is that there are no plans for more treatment, only keeping her comfortable til the end. The result is that she is getting sicker, well I mean she is slowly dying, and instead of spending her last moments with her family she is waiting for her magic dr's appointment which is never going to come. This is not a case of denial but rather of the dr using too complicated terminology and maybe being afraid to tell the patient the truth in plain language.

My case:
I had an operation a few years ago. I was really ill and nobody could really tell me what was wrong. A few doctors had even diagnosed me with some mental illness :) Anyhow, after the operation the doctor came to my bedside and stated happily "Well, it's not cancer". I was so angry because they had not told me the reason they were opening me up was because they thought I had cancer. I let the surgeon have it and his explanantion was that he didn't want to worry me. I think that is common here.

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