Advanced prostate cancer will eventually end, barring another cause of death, with the demise of the individual survivor. Knowing that you suffer from a terminal illness is hard, it is hard on the family and it is hard on the individual. Many of us don’t think about it, but it is also hard for many of our healthcare professionals.

We all have great difficulty dealing with the thought of the eventual and then the actual death of our loved one. In many cases this difficulty also extends to our healthcare professionals. Like the family, they need to find a way to come to grips with this eventuality. For some, the death of their patient signals their personal failure, for others it is the end of a long-term relationship. Of course, for others it is simply another day at the office.

For those heath care professionals who do feel the loss in some way, they need to understand that a patient’s death belongs to the patient and their family, not to the healthcare provider. As long as the healthcare professional had provided the best care possible, they need to put aside their own personal issues in respect to the family.

What do I mean by this statement? A healthcare provider’s role should be to support the patient and to their family. This means being present for them in a way that the patient and the family dictate and need, not in a way that responds to the healthcare provid