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On-line version ISSN 1851-9628


ALONSO, Juan Pedro. Uncertainty as a collective production: ambiguity surrounding prognosis in terminal illnesses. Runa [online]. 2013, vol.34, n.1, pp.113-132. ISSN 1851-9628.

This article analyses the communication of terminal prognosis in advanced cancer diseases. Based on an ethnography in a palliative care setting in Buenos Aires, the paper addresses the uncertainty surrounding the disclosure of terminal prognosis, analysing the actors involved in the communication process and the ways in which the terminal prognosis are estimated. The division of labor between oncologists and palliative care specialists, professional traditions on disclosing information, and the gradual way in which palliative care professionals reveal the information, contribute to produce ambiguity and uncertainty in terminal prognosis. Usually attributed to individual responses to an impending death, uncertainty and hope are presented here as social and interactional products.

Keywords : Uncertainty; Hope; End of Life; Cancer; Palliative Care.

        · abstract in Spanish | Portuguese     · text in Spanish     · Spanish ( pdf )


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