A Risk of Empowering Patients

In response to Miller's editorial intended to empower patients, a reader said, "the lingering feeling is we are to blame [if the cancer recurs]...it's all our own fault."

Healthy Survivorship protects against unhealthy guilt. That's because Healthy Survivors know...

  • Proper action only affects--not controls--the outcome.
  • Patients can do everything right and experience the unwanted outcome.

In addition, Healthy Survivorship does not demand perfection. It only demands doing your best. Even the most well-intentioned and disciplined patients sometimes make poor choices and don't follow through on proper action. For whatever reason, their best at the time was not their usual best. That doesn't mean they are not Healthy Survivors. It means they are human. 

Healthy Survivors deal with their mistakes and lost opportunities in healthy ways. As discussed in If Patients Feel Guilty “It's good to feel guilty when it's helping you....If guilt is just making a bad situation worse, ...letting go may be the key."

In my next post, I'll discuss the danger of avoiding empowerment to avoid guilt.

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