Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

Doctors Unequipped For Bereaved Outreach

SEATTLE, Oct. 3 (UPI) — Most U.S. cancer physicians say they reach out to bereaved family members but two-thirds feel poorly trained in this area, researchers suggest.

Dr. Aaron S. Kusano, a radiation oncology resident at the University of Washington School of Medicine in

Seattle, said researchers have only recently begun to look at actual physician practices following a patient’s death.

An anonymous online survey was completed by 162 attending radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, surgical oncologists and palliative care physicians directly involved in patient care last year, Kusano said.

Seventy percent of cancer physicians routinely engaged in at least one bereavement activity that they initiated, such as sending a condolence letter, making a telephone call to the family or attending a funeral service following a patient’s death.

Ninety percent of the respondents who did not initiate bereavement follow-up, would routinely be available for phone conversations if called by a patient’s family, the survey said.

“In particular with cancer, there has been a movement to encourage physician involvement throughout the course of disease, including after a patient’s passing,” Kusano said in a statement. “The empathy in physicians dedicated to cancer care doesn’t translate into an inherent ability to lead difficult conversations or comfortably express grief.”

The findings were presented at the 53rd annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Doctors Unequipped For Bereaved Outreach”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.