Medical oncology is a subspecialty of internal medicine that focuses on the treatment of cancer. Cancer is the second leading cause of mortality in the U.S. Therefore death is a frequent subject for oncologists. However, oncology training emphasizes cancer therapy with little guidance on counseling in preparation for death. Physicians such as the writer Atul Gawande are working to bring back the topic of death into the physician-patient conversation. Furthermore, many religions, including the Bahá’í Faith, can help to address how death is perceived and discussed by physicians. The purpose of this article is to review my personal experience as an oncologist and as a Bahá’í, as it relates to the topic of death.
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Copyright © 2015 Aaron Alizadeh