The Cancer Patient’s Bill of Rights

Please don’t tell me what I don’t have. We both know I came to you to learn if I have cancer. If I know what I have, I know what I am fighting, and there is less to fear. If you hide the name and the facts, you deprive me of the chance to help myself.

Doctor, when you are questioning whether I should be told if I have cancer, I already know. You may feel better if you don’t tell me, but your deception hurts me.

Do not tell me how long I have to live. I alone can decide how long I will live. It is my desires, my goals, my values, my strengths, and my will to live that will make the decision.

Teach me and my family about how and why it happened to me. Help me and my family to live now. Tell me about nutrition and my body’s needs. Tell me how … mind and body can work together. Healing comes from within, but I want to combine my strength with yours. If you and I are a team I will live a longer and better life.

Doctor, don’t let your negative beliefs, your fears, and your prejudices affect my health. Don’t stand in the way of my getting well and exceeding your expectations. Give me the chance to be the exception to your statistics.

Teach me about your beliefs and therapies and help me to incorporate them into mine.However, remember that my beliefs are the most important; what I don’t believe in won’t help me.

You must learn what cancer means to me – death, pain, or fear of the unknown. If my belief system accepts alternative therapy and not recognized therapy, do not desert me….

Doctor, teach me and my family to live with my problem when I am not with you. Take time for our questions and give us your attention when we need it. It is important that I feel free to talk with you and question you. I will live a longer and more meaningful life if you and I can develop a significant relationship….