CHAPTER 12The Exchange and Patients’ Families

In every workplace, including hospitals, conflicts can include parties who are not present. We call them shadow participants, but in reality they may be much more substantial than mere shadows. When patients are involved, either as principals or as subjects of disputes, these shadow participants may be more powerful than the patients. The shadow participants become surrogate voices for the ones they love or support. They are the families: the spouses, partners, children, parents, and relatives whose lives are affected by whatever the patients are experiencing. When patients are not able to speak for themselves, and often even when they are, the surrogate or shadow parties can be invited to participate ...

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