MASTERING TASKS OF ADOLESCENCE: THE KEY TO OPTIMUM END -OFLIFE CARE OF AN ADOLESCENT DYING OF CANCER.
Suriati Mohamed Saini* and Susan Mooi KoonTan.*
Objective: This case report highlights the optimum end-of-life care of an adolescent dying of cancer. Method: We report our experience, as part of a multidisciplinary team in managing the cancers of a female student who died an untimely death at the age of 15. Results: Our role of motivating her for chemotherapy of her initial treatable carcinoma, became that of palliative care upon discovery of a second malignancy. We helped the patient “live life to the fullest” during her last days, she helped us realize that helping her master the tasks of adolescence was optimum “end-of-life care” as well. Conclusion: to help an ill adolescent die with dignity is to help her live whatever time she has left of her life. Allowing her to participate in decisions regarding her treatment and in other bio-psycho-social needs of that stage of life is crucial in helping her prepare for the end of life.