American Journal of Bioethics.

Sickle Cell Disease and the “Difficult Patient” Conundrum

The convergence of sickle cell disease’s unique political, historical, cultural, medical, and psychological dimensions begets an especially distressing plight for sufferers of the disease. Too often, this convergence results in sickle cell patients being classified as “difficult.” As Autumn Fiester recently argued, traditional understanding of the “difficult” patient warrants reevaluation. By acknowledging the nuanced dimensions of sickle cell disease, we identify barriers to care particular to the disease, which further substantiate the need to redefine orthodox notions of the “difficult” patient. We support development of mechanisms in both health care provider education and third-party consultation support by the Ethics Consultation Service, or by other appropriately designated specialists, to respect the manifold dimensions of sickle cell disease as a necessary step toward the enhancement of clinical care for sickle cell patients.

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Volume 13, Issue 4
April 2013

Target Articles.

Does Consent Bias Research? Mark A. Rothstein & Abigail B. Shoben