Caring for the Dying: Critical Issues at the Edge of Life

Overview

Since 1997, when Oregon enacted a law permitting physician-assisted suicide, the public debate over end-of-life issues has turned in a new direction. A major response to this law has been increased attention to providing support for the dying in ways that lessen the felt need for assisted suicide. The result has been renewed emphasis on hospice, palliative care, and the spiritual needs of the dying, as well as on advanced directives to settle legal matters. These are the four critical issues addressed by leading ...

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Overview

Since 1997, when Oregon enacted a law permitting physician-assisted suicide, the public debate over end-of-life issues has turned in a new direction. A major response to this law has been increased attention to providing support for the dying in ways that lessen the felt need for assisted suicide. The result has been renewed emphasis on hospice, palliative care, and the spiritual needs of the dying, as well as on advanced directives to settle legal matters. These are the four critical issues addressed by leading experts in this outstanding collection of recent articles on this controversial topic.
The essays in section one clarify the role of hospice in providing care for the dying and debunk some commonly believed myths about hospice. Section two focuses on palliative care, considering when and to what extent suffering should be alleviated, and the use of drugs in palliative intervention. The articles in section three, on the spiritual needs of the dying, stress that caregivers must remain sensitive to the diverse traditions in which spiritual needs are rooted. The concluding section addresses, among other things, the importance of the advance directive and durable power of attorney, and litigation to remove restrictions that might impede physicians from prescribing adequate pain-management drugs.
An underlying theme of all the contributions is that end-of-life needs vary for each individual. Awareness of this fact is crucial both for the dying and for their caregivers. The essays in this collection will help readers recognize and prepare for difficult end-of-life decisions.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573929691
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 1/28/2003
  • Series: Contemporary Issues Series
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert M. Baird (Waco, TX) is a professor and chair of the Philosophy Department at Baylor University.

Stuart E. Rosenbaum is a professor of philosophy and director of graduate studies in philosophy at Baylor University. He is the editor of Pragmatism and Religion.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 9
Pt. 1 The Hospice Movement
1 Debunking the Myths of Hospice 25
2 A Comparison of Hospice in the U.K. and the U.S. 35
3 Changing the Game in the Intensive Care Unit: Letting Nature Take Its Course 47
4 Beyond "Death with Dignity": A Hospice Vignette 73
5 What's in a Name? 77
Pt. 2 Palliative Care at the End of Life
6 A Caregiver's Quandary: How Am I to Evaluate and Respond to the Other's Suffering? 85
7 Palliative Treatments of Last Resort: Choosing the Least Harmful Alternative 99
8 Caring for the Dying - Congressional Mischief 117
9 House Testimony on the Pain Relief Promotion Act of 1999 125
10 House Testimony on the Pain Relief Promotion Act of 1999 133
11 Existential Suffering and Palliative Sedation: A Brief Commentary with a Proposal for Clinical Guidelines 139
12 Palliative Sedation vs. Terminal Sedation: What's in a Name? 147
Pt. 3 Spiritual Caring for the Dying
13 Spirituality and Care at the End of Life 155
14 Spiritual Care at the End of Life 161
15 Control Theory in Dying: What Do We Know? 173
16 In Search of a Good Death: Observations of Patients, Families, and Providers 185
17 The Jewish Patient and Terminal Dehydration: A Hospice Ethical Dilemma 205
Pt. 4 Legal Issues at the End of Life
18 Avoiding Family Feuds: Responding to Surrogate Demands for Life-Sustaining Interventions 219
19 Commentary: Anxieties as a Legal Impediment to the Doctor-Proxy Relationship 239
20 Commentary: From Contract to Covenant in Advance-Care Planning 251
21 Twenty-five Years after Quinlan: A Review of the Jurisprudence of Death and Dying 269
Contributors 313
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