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From The CriticsReviewer: Lisa Stepp, PhD, RN, APN, AOCN, CRNH(Private Practice)
Description: As we are living and dying in the information age, patients and family members often wish to increase their awareness regarding issues related to end of life. In this text the authors eloquently speak to all of us in regard to the experience of serious and terminal illness. The directness of their style gives a personal feel to the information, as do the very personal stories that are shared. The poetry and pictures are moving and cathartic.
Purpose: According to the authors, the purpose is to guide individuals faced with serious illness and death through this very human experience.
Audience: The authors provide practical and reassuring information that we will all need at one time or another. As physicians, the authors bring the compassion expected from a physician as well as a wealth of knowledge and experience to this topic. The information is appropriate for family members, loved ones, patients, and caregivers. As our modern medical technology continues to change the way we live and die, our need grows even stronger for direction in managing difficult emotions and decisions at the end of life.
Features: All facets of end of life care from how to talk with your physician to the specifics of planning ahead for special circumstances are covered in this text. Truly, this is a compassionate yet direct explanation of what to expect and how to deal with changes during this time. The authors address the issue of addiction versus tolerance and addiction head on.
Assessment: This text is the most comprehensive to be found on this topic. Most of the literature available to date regarding end of life issues have been very clinical in their focus; however, this text is aptly named a handbook for all — clinicians and lay persons — can benefit from this book.