Sociolegal aspects of medical rehabilitation: who is entitled to what?
After receiving a diagnosis of cancer, the life of people and their social environment drastically change. Limitations related to the disease as well as to cancer treatment (fatigue, pain, polyneuropathy, reactions to loss of an organ and mental stress) lead to a reduction of physical capabilities and impairment to participate in social life.
As a result, a variety of complex questions and problems of social issues arise, which are sometimes experienced to be nearly as threatening as the course of the disease itself and are not uncommonly experienced as shameful. To combat social burdens and the experience of social exclusion and to ease the reintegration into family, community and workplace, medical and vocational rehabilitation services are required. The close collaboration of attending resident physicians, social medicine and rehabilitation physicians, occupational health physicians and psycho-oncologists as well as highly qualified social workers in outpatient and inpatient contexts, is of particular importance.