, Volume 22, Issue 11, pp 2879-2882
Date: 16 Aug 2014

I want to fly home: a terminal cancer patient’s right to go home

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Introduction

As palliative care physicians, we sometimes find ourselves immersed in the dilemma of a patient with terminal cancer requesting to fly back home, often overseas. This particular situation is filled with an array of complex variables: establishing that the medical condition is stable enough for overseas travel, dealing with a significant cost (sometimes in patients with scarce economical resources), securing proper care on the receiving end, symptom management during flight, and dealing with the possibility of in-flight death, among others.

Physicians, nurses, social workers, and case managers find themselves at the crossroads of responding to the patient’s needs and at the same time securing a safe and responsible disposition plan. More often than none, the result of this is foregoing travel plans and offering the patient and family alternative ways to establish a connection with their homeland [1].

The objective of this review is to explore the plausibility of these travels ...