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Dying at the MarginsReflections on Justice and Healing for Inner-City Poor$
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David Wendell Moller

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199760145

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199760145.001.0001

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The Story of Annie Gratitude and Faith

The Story of Annie Gratitude and Faith

6 The Story of Annie Gratitude and Faith
Dying at the Margins

David Wendell Moller

Oxford University Press

The narrative of Bill Wheeler expresses his sense of betrayal and neglect. There was a great divide between the life experiences of Mr. Wheeler and his caregivers. He was angry that his late diagnosis was related to being poor and uninsured. He resented that his doctors did not communicate with him effectively. He felt they misrepresented things, failed to listen attentively, and disregarded his suffering and needs. The decision to treat his cancer aggressively despite its advanced stage initially provided hopeful expectations but ultimately led to shattered hope, greater anger, and late enrollment in hospice. The result is that Mr. Wheeler went to his death feeling neglected and uncared for. The negative impact of poor communication is magnified due to inadequate resources, low literacy, and mistrust of the medical system. Emotional handling of patients in vulnerable populations is crucial because these patients often mistrust physicians and the healthcare system at large.

Keywords:   hopelessness, helplessness, communication, providing prognostic information, presence, critical illness, trust, poverty, false hope, unrealistic expectations

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