Journal article

Supporting cancer care clinicians to 'hold' their patients during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic: a role for reflective ethics discussions

Clare Delany, Joanne Benhamu, Rosalind McDougall, Danielle Ko, Hayley Jones, Linda Mileshkin, Geraldine Largey, Alex Clinch, Sarah Heynemann



The COVID-19 pandemic has placed an overwhelming burden on healthcare delivery globally. This paper examines how COVID-19 has affected cancer care clinicians' capacity to deliver cancer care in the Australian context. We use the lens of 'holding patients' (drawing from attachment theory, psychology and from Australian Indigenous knowledge) to conceptualise cancer clinicians' processes of care and therapeutic relationships with patients. These notions of 'holding' resonate with the deep responsibility cancer care clinicians feel towards their patients. They enrich ethical language beyond duties to benefit, avoid harm, respect patients' autonomy and provide just treatment. We consider the disr..

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