International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care

International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care

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Promoting Hospice & Palliative Care Worldwide


2006; Volume 7, No 9, September



Main Index:

IAHPC's Homepage

News Table of Contents

Message from the Chair and Executive Director:
Kathy Foley, MD
Liliana De Lima, MHA

Article of the Month:
Dr. Ripamonti

Book Reviews:
Dr. Woodruff, MD

Regional Report:

Fellowships available



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Anne Laidlaw

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Liliana De Lima, MHA

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Hospice Palliative Care
Book Reviews

Dr. Woodruff, MD

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Michael Wright
Observatory Publications, 2006
284 pp ISBN 0-9544192-1-9
Available from

£15 (plus p&p)

This latest offering of oral history from Observatory Publications make fascinating reading. Zorza, born into a Jewish family in Eastern Poland in 1925, fled from the advancing Nazis but ended up being interred in one of the camps of Stalin’s Gulag. He later served with Polish forces under British command and after the war made his home in England . He became a self-taught journalist with both the Guardian and the Washington Post. He developed a unique analytic style that allowed him insight into what was reported from the Communist world and he became known as a leading Kremlinologist.

In 1977, his 25-year-old daughter Jane died with malignant melanoma at Sir Michael Sobell House in Oxford . From that time on, he championed the cause of hospice in the UK and the USA, writing several acclaimed newspaper articles and, with his wife, a book called A Way to Die (available on-line, free, at When Russia ’s first hospice opened outside St. Petersburg in 1990, it owed much to the perseverance of Victor Zorza.

But that’s just the surface. This book provides gripping insights into the terrible conflicts of 20th century Europe and, more importantly, into the contradictions of this influential man. ‘Forged in the fire as a young man’, ‘he had [no] idea of the enormity of the pain that he caused [those close to him]’. Until a major reconciliation shortly before his death.

Fascinating reading! Highly recommended.


Vincent Di Stefano
Allen & Unwin, 2006
205 pp
ISBN 1-74114-846-4
RRP $AU45.00, $US24.95, £21.99

In palliative medicine, it has always been said that a holistic approach to treatment is of great importance, which I think made this book an even more interesting read for me. Di Stefano, a practitioner in osteopathy and western herbal medicine, explores the history and philosophy of medicine down the ages, of both what have come to be known as the biomedical and the complementary branches of medicine. Of particular interest is the role of holism in the therapeutic encounter with a complementary practitioner. He documents the re-emergence of holism in conventional medicine over the last few decades and discusses the rewards that this evolution might bring.

Scholarly, well-written and very informative.


Joyce Marie Sheldon
Lorimer Press, 2006
81pp ISBN 0-9704651-8-1
RRP $US 19.95
Available from

After dealing with her husband’s terminal illness over a period of two years, Joyce Sheldon has produced a tasteful collection of poems, prayers and meditations that I think would be useful to any caregiver dealing with end-of-life issues. It is very much in the spirit of palliative care—where you may be unable to add days to the life, you add life (and meaning) to the days. Reading how one couple achieved this would be both comforting and inspirational to others in a similar situation.

GET OVER IT! Surviving Grief To Live Again.  

Audrey Stringer
A String Of Hope Inc., 2005
ISBN 0-9737132-0-8
RRP $CAN19.95, $US17.95
Available at

Audrey Stringer is a palliative support and grief counselor who has suffered perhaps more than her share of personal bereavements in her own family. One of her aims in writing this book was to create a resource-filled tool for those who grieve and for those who help them. Although it follows the trail of her own grief after her husband’s death, it is filled with little boxes offering down-to-earth advice about problems that are likely to be encountered and task lists of things that need to be done and how to do them. The title might sound harsh to some, but this is a very practical and useful book.

Roger Woodruff

Director of Palliative Care, Austin Health, Melbourne, Australia
(August 2006)

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