What options(s) do we have if doctors are unwilling to provide chemotherapy?

Greetings - About 2 months ago my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer. It has spread throughout her abdomen (including her intestines) and needless to say - she (as well as her family including myself) are all in a tremendous amount of pain.

She is currently at NYU where she is receiving tremendous treatment. The nurses and doctors are all exceptionally responsive to her wants and needs. Having said that - the surgery team has told us (now repeatedly) that she is in no shape to receive chemotherapy. In their professional opinion it would simply kill her. They are currently giving her a weekly timeline of life left. This prognosis has been given to us as well by Memorial Sloan Kettering. We are currently discussing palliative care options.

I understand the need for acceptance. Having said that - is this community (or any reddit community) aware of laws, procedures, etc that would allow the patient to receive chemotherapy, even if this means going against the advice of the medical community? I understand risk / reward paradigms must be discussed. But if she receives zero treatment from here - she will simply die. We are looking for all possible hail marys right now. Absolutely anything and everything that could possibly work.

To add to this - if a patient wants chemotherapy despite all doctor recommendations - is it in the patient's rights to allow said procedure to go forth despite all odds / medical advice?

Thank you ahead of time for any insight you and this community may provide. God bless


  • BarbBigSis
    BarbBigSis Member Posts: 1 *

    Dear bullybear, I am sorry to hear about your mother, it sounds like the doctors are probably advising you appropriately given your Moms current situation. My younger brother has recently had his tumor and part of his stomach removed , he is 54. Now he is faced with the difficult decision to have the total stomach removed. I have worked in hospice for many years and truly believe in patients having some quality of life before death. The chemo that you are seeking will most likely rob your mom of what little bit of quality of life that she may have left. Please consider palliative care for her…my prayers go out for you and your mother. 🙏