Changing the Shape of Sickle Cell Disease Treatment: A Hermeneutic Study of a Case that Changed a Family and a Medical Practice


  • Nancy J Moules University of Calgary
  • Catherine M Laing University of Calgary
  • Gregory Guilcher University of Calgary Alberta Children's Hospital



hermeneutics, sickle cell disease, change, family-health care professional relationships


This hermeneutic study analyzes a case of one family who chose to undergo two hematopoietic stem cell transplants for two of their four children affected with sickle cell disease (SCD) with full knowledge of the risks involved with curative therapy. This case had a life-changing impact on the family and on the medical practice of the physician who worked with them. As a result of this family, international treatment of early transplant for SCD has adopted different protocols. In this study, interviewing the mother in the family, the physician, and the transplant nurse, and analyzing the data hermeneutically brings us to a deeper understanding of how change occurs and its profound effect on lives and medical treatment.



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