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Càtedra WeCare
Facultat de Medicina i Ciències de la Salut
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RecerCaixa – how was the first year of the project?

RecerCaixa – how was the first year of the project?

Dignity perception, desire to control and wish to hasten death in advanced cancer patients

What is the study about?

This study will describe the relationships between the perception of dignity, the desire for control and the desire to hasten death, and will also detect areas of suffering in patients with advanced disease which are currently not controlled. It will also identify situations of emotional distress caused by a lack of control or autonomy. This will allow clinicians to develop care plans attuned to patients’ needs, and propose ways to help patients to take decisions and maintain their autonomous role.


  1. To analyse the relationship between sense of dignity, control and wish to hasten death in advanced cancer patients.
  2. To identify patients who will be part of the qualitative sample study.
  3. To understand the desire for control in these patients.
  4. To explore in which way the desire for control or autonomy is related with the wish to hasten death that they could present.
  5. To explore the needs of patients who express a greater desire for control.

What have done so far?

Publications – see below for articles by the WeCare team related to this study.

Rodríguez-Prat, A., Monforte-Royo, C., Porta-Sales, J., Escribano, X., & Balaguer, A. (2016). Patient Perspectives of Dignity, Autonomy and Control at the End of Life: Systematic Review and Meta-Ethnography. PLoS ONE, 11(3), e0151435.  (link)

Rodríguez-Prat, A; Escribano, X. A philosophical view on the experience of dignity and autonomy through the phenomenology of illness. Journal of Medicine and philosophy. 2016. Accepted.

Rodríguez-Prat A, Monforte-Royo C. 25 years after Intoxicated by My Illness. Challenges for Medical Humanities. Lancet. 2016. (Accepted, 10 October).


Rodríguez Prat, A, Monforte-Royo C, Balaguer A. “Assumptions on Dignity and the Value of Life in Terminally Ill Patients. A Review of Argument-based Ethics Literature. 9th World Research Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care. 9-11 June 2016. Dublin, Ireland

Guerrero-Torrelles, M, Rodríguez-Prat, A, Porta Sales J, Balaguer A, Monforte-Royo C. Recomendaciones para abordar el deseo de adelantar la muerte: una revisión sistemática de la literatura. XI Congreso Nacional de la Asociación Española de Cuidados Paliativos,12-14 Mayo de 2016. Sevilla, Spain.

Field work:

Over 140 patients have been included in the cross sectional study this year, a further 60 patients will be included in 2017.

Patient interviews: a key part of this study involves interacting with patients to really understand their situation. The team has undertaken a range of one-to-one patient interviews to better understand the construct of control in the context of patients with advanced cancer. Further interviews will be held in 2017 to provide an overarching perspective of the needs of these patients.


WeCare: End of life care. We share with you our research

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