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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Lisa Stepp, PhD, RN, APN, AOCN, CRNH (Private Practice)
Description: When providing end of life care, healthcare professionals face numerous problems. As an illness progresses, the patient's suffering increases and care of the patient becomes challenging, both clinically and ethically. Healthcare providers need clear direction to be able to provide the best possible palliative care at this crucial time.
Purpose: The purpose of this book, as defined by the author, is to direct the palliative care provider's attention to the values and assumptions underlying terminal care. There seems to remain a great deal of confusion regarding terminal care. These issues clearly need to be discussed openly and honestly and the author provides a forum for this discussion. Although there are numerous publications that address end of life issues, the author uses personal illustrations to provide a framework to guide conversations between physicians and patients.
Audience: The book is designed for clinicians involved in palliative care. Students would also benefit from having this book in their library. The author speaks form personal experience providing end of life care and provides a comprehensive overview of significant dilemmas in this area of healthcare.
Features: The author addresses medical issues as well as how medical decisions are structured in light of legal and ethical considerations. Illustrations of possible discussions between healthcare professionals and patients are presented in a realistic manner.
Assessment: This book provides a window into one individual's journey as a healthcare professional in end of life care.