Hospice Palliative Care
Dr. Woodruff, MD
The Table of Contents for each book reviewed is available in the Bookshop at www.hospicecare.com/Bookstore
THE PATHS OF PAIN 1975-2005
Harold Merskey, John D. Loeser and Ronald Dubner (Eds)
IASP Press (International Association for the Study of Pain), 2005
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This is a wonderful book for anyone interested in the science and clinical management of pain. It was published by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) in celebration of the 30 years from the 1st World Congress of the Association in Florence in 1975 to the 11th World Congress in Sydney in 2005.
There are 35 chapters, dealing with everything from the Gate Theory to the Genetics of Pain. Each contributor starts with a description of what was known in 1975, leads you through what has been an explosion in knowledge over the last 30 years, coming finally to the state of the art in 2005. It is always of benefit to know the history behind current theories and practices and I found this format captivating. This book, which encapsulates all that has happened in the field of pain in the last 30 years, will be of interest to anyone working in the field, be they scientists or clinicians.
LESSONS IN GRIEF AND DEATH. Supporting People With Developmental Disabilities In The Healing Process
Linda Van Dyke
High Tide Press, 2003
RRP $US24.95, £14.00
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We are reminded that people with developmental disabilities are not emotional retarded, but the task of leading them through a meaningful and healing bereavement would be seen as a daunting task by many. Van Dyke presents nine annotated clinical histories that quietly and clearly illustrate the issues and how they may be dealt with by the use of art, music and drama as well as supportive counseling. The summary at the end of the book of the 6-session Van Dyke Model for grief counseling for persons with developmental disabilities is, to say the least, illuminating. The book will be both an invaluable resource and a great comfort to any palliative care professionals who need help and guidance in dealing with persons with developmental disabilities.
HIDDEN ASPECTS OF PALLIATIVE CARE
Brian Nyatanga and Maxine Astley-Pepper (Eds)
Quay Books, 2005
This is a collection of ten essays on the 'hidden' aspects of palliative care. I, for one, would like to think that these topics are ones we don't talk about enough, or not clearly enough, rather than being genuinely hidden. The topics covered include issues in communication, the essence of time in death and dying, presencing, social isolation, spirituality, sexuality, and the emotional load on the health care professionals. Interesting, sometimes challenging, this book will be of interest to any palliative care professionals – some thought-provoking background reading in the never-ending circle of trying to improve the care we deliver. I was pleased to be reminded of the quotation from Carl Jung, which seems so applicable to palliative care:
"Learn your theories as well as you can, but put them aside when touching the miracle of the living soul. Not theories, but your own creative individuality must decide."
DYING DECLARATIONS. Notes from a Hospice Volunteer
David B. Resnik, JD PhD
The Haworth Press, 2005
RRP $US14.95, £8.60
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Resnik describes his book as 'a collection of stories, observations and reflections based on my relationships with people who are dying.' But what insightful observations and reflections! Not surprising when you learn that hospice volunteer Resnik works as a bioethicist at the National Institute of Environmental Health when he is not volunteering. This would be an excellent book for anyone training to be a hospice volunteer or considering becoming one.
I WONDER WHAT YOU DO ON YOUR FIRST DAY IN HEAVEN
Less is More Publishing, 2005
RRP $US16.95 + shipping
Available at www.aboutheaven.net [secure site, pay using credit card via PayPal]
This slim but colourfully illustrated book is to help children talk about their response to a death. The text is sparse (barely 200 words) and tells a simple tale. It does not provide any information or teaching about grief or bereavement but is simply a platform to allow children to verbalise their feelings and questions. I think it would be very useful in dealing with young children who have been bereaved and it would be a useful resource for any palliative care service, to be loaned out at the appropriate time.
WIDOWS' WORDS...OF HOPE
Anne K. Robey
Trafford Publishing, 2005
Available at http://www.trafford.com
Starting with ten statements that people often make at funerals, Anne Robey describes her thoughts and stories and those of other widows, interspersed with nature photographs and quotations from the scriptures. The manner is very straightforward and I think this book would be both helpful and a comfort to someone newly widowed.
Director of Palliative Care, Austin Health,