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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: William K. Cody, RN, PhD (University of North Carolina-Charlotte)
Description: This book provides information on legal and ethical issues in home health and long-term care, describes ethical analysis and decision-making in these settings, and provides models to guide caregivers in these processes.
Purpose: The book fulfills a need in the related literature by providing a resource to guide the reader through ethical questions in a way that is sufficiently comprehensive to deal with their complexity, along with tools and techniques to address ethical questions in practice.
Audience: The book, targeting caregivers and administrators in home health care, long-term care, hospice, and community health care, may be used as a textbook for healthcare professionals. Robbins, with a PhD in philosophy, a Harvard MPH, and 10 years' experience in the ethics of postacute care, is a credible authority.
Features: The book is organized into 12 chapters that provide an overview of the issues, explore the forces influencing ethical problems, present some key ethical concepts and principles, offer a model for decision making, and describe how to implement policies and procedures based on ethical reasoning. Chapters conclude with open-ended case studies and questions for discussion. The book ends with a bibliography on healthcare ethics, fulfilling the claim that the book is a comprehensive resource.
Assessment: This book features a well-balanced array of facts, theory, analysis, illustration, and guidance, and it will be a useful addition to any healthcare library. Robbins writes with a minimum of jargon and differentiates well between legal and ethical problems. A possible weakness of the text is the sparseness of the explanations of ethical principles. Robbins captures the profundity and urgency of the ethical issues he describes and frankly delineates which side of an issue he is on. The book leaves the reader better prepared to grapple with the inevitable ethical dilemmas of home health and long-term care.