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Understanding patient needs without understanding the patient : the need for complementary use of professional interpreters in end-of-life care

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Abstract
High-quality doctor-patient communication in end-of-life care results in better quality of life for patients. In linguistically and culturally diverse societies, language discordant consultations become daily practice, leading to difficulties in eliciting patient preferences toward end-of-life care. Although family members invariably act as informal interpreters, this may cause some ethical dilemmas. We present a case of a palliative patient whose son acted as an interpreter. This case generated a triple- layered ethical dilemma: (i) how to safeguard patient autonomy against paternalistic interventions by family members, (ii) how to respect the relational context in which patient autonomy can be realized, and (iii) how to respect the ethno-cultural values of the patient and his family. These issues are being discussed and reflected upon within the framework shared decision making involving informal- and professional interpreters. The complementary use of professional interpreters next to family members acting as informal interpreters is recommended.
Keywords
Patient needs, Interpreters, Communication, Patient autonomy, Agency, Shared decision making, HEALTH-CARE, PALLIATIVE CARE, CANCER-PATIENTS, COMMUNICATION, ASSOCIATIONS, PERCEPTIONS, INFORMATION, ADJUSTMENT, ATTITUDES, PROGNOSIS

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Chicago
Krystallidou, Demi, Ignaas Devisch, Dominique Van de Velde, and Peter Pype. 2017. “Understanding Patient Needs Without Understanding the Patient : the Need for Complementary Use of Professional Interpreters in End-of-life Care.” Medicine Health Care and Philosophy 20 (4): 477–481.
APA
Krystallidou, Demi, Devisch, I., Van de Velde, D., & Pype, P. (2017). Understanding patient needs without understanding the patient : the need for complementary use of professional interpreters in end-of-life care. MEDICINE HEALTH CARE AND PHILOSOPHY, 20(4), 477–481.
Vancouver
1.
Krystallidou D, Devisch I, Van de Velde D, Pype P. Understanding patient needs without understanding the patient : the need for complementary use of professional interpreters in end-of-life care. MEDICINE HEALTH CARE AND PHILOSOPHY. 2017;20(4):477–81.
MLA
Krystallidou, Demi, Ignaas Devisch, Dominique Van de Velde, et al. “Understanding Patient Needs Without Understanding the Patient : the Need for Complementary Use of Professional Interpreters in End-of-life Care.” MEDICINE HEALTH CARE AND PHILOSOPHY 20.4 (2017): 477–481. Print.
@article{8519391,
  abstract     = {High-quality doctor-patient communication in end-of-life care results in better quality of life for patients. In linguistically and culturally diverse societies, language discordant consultations become daily practice, leading to difficulties in eliciting patient preferences toward end-of-life care. Although family members invariably act as informal interpreters, this may cause some ethical dilemmas. We present a case of a palliative patient whose son acted as an interpreter. This case generated a triple- layered ethical dilemma: (i) how to safeguard patient autonomy against paternalistic interventions by family members, (ii) how to respect the relational context in which patient autonomy can be realized, and (iii) how to respect the ethno-cultural values of the patient and his family. These issues are being discussed and reflected upon within the framework shared decision making involving informal- and professional interpreters. The complementary use of professional interpreters next to family members acting as informal interpreters is recommended.},
  author       = {Krystallidou, Demi and Devisch, Ignaas and Van de Velde, Dominique and Pype, Peter},
  issn         = {1386-7423},
  journal      = {MEDICINE HEALTH CARE AND PHILOSOPHY},
  keyword      = {Patient needs,Interpreters,Communication,Patient autonomy,Agency,Shared decision making,HEALTH-CARE,PALLIATIVE CARE,CANCER-PATIENTS,COMMUNICATION,ASSOCIATIONS,PERCEPTIONS,INFORMATION,ADJUSTMENT,ATTITUDES,PROGNOSIS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {477--481},
  title        = {Understanding patient needs without understanding the patient : the need for complementary use of professional interpreters in end-of-life care},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11019-017-9769-y},
  volume       = {20},
  year         = {2017},
}

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