Description: This book illustrates how quality end-of-life care, palliative care, is a public health issue.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a global view past, present, and future. These worthy objectives set the tone of the book.
Audience: This would be a valuable educational asset for anyone studying or practicing in any healthcare area, funders of healthcare projects especially at the end of life, and lawmakers attempting to understand palliative care around the world. It is especially important for those creating the future of public health and of palliative care. The editors believe that the project, although expansive, is necessary to champion the advance of palliative care and end-of-life care for all people. The authors and editors are well qualified to meet these challenges.
Features: The book begins with a historical perspective of end-of-life care and public health issues. Discussion of end-of-life care around the world is followed by discussions of access to care, care settings, cultural and ethnic variations, various disease trajectories, and the underserved individuals who may die without the assistance of palliative care. Palliative care grew out of the hospice movement, incorporating the interdisciplinary model of care. A few black-and-white illustrations explain a point or note variances around the world.
Assessment: As a clinical nurse specialist, a hospice nurse for over 20 years, and a nurse educator before that, I was quite fascinated by this book. Actually, I could not put it down for long. It is technical in parts, but the global information is interesting. I do not know of any book that intermingles end of life, palliative care, public health, and disease trajectories so well. It even includes historical views, current situations, and a plea for future efforts to improve access to care and financial reimbursement for palliative care, from the beginning of a serious and life-limiting disease to the end.