2009; Volume 10, No 6, June

Roger Woodruff, MD


Main Index:

IAHPC's Homepage

News Table of Contents

Message from the Chair and Executive Director

Contribution from an IAHPC Board Member –Dr. Derek Doyle

IAHPC’s Traveling Scholar’s Report

Palliative Care Book of the Month and a Book Review



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Palliative Care Book of the Month

Improving care from the roots up in resource-limited settings

Vicky Lavy, Charlie Bond and Ruth Wooldridge

Help the Hospices and The Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance, 2008
100 pp
ISBN 978-1-871978-71-1

Can be downloaded, free, from

This toolkit, written by three palliative care professionals who have had a lot of experience in Africa and Asia, has been written to empower health workers in resource-poor settings to integrate palliative care into the work they are doing by grafting the missing elements of care onto what is already in place.  It is clearly written and they have kept it relatively simple, which is appropriate.  The list of chapter headings tells you that it is very much a ‘can-do’ book.

You can do palliative care in your setting

You can build a team

You can talk about difficult issues

You can control pain and other symptoms

You can help children and families

You can tell others about palliative care.

There is also a Toolkit of 18 basic tools that would be useful in patient care and in running a service. There is also a printed version that comes complete with a CD-ROM, although no price was quoted on either Amazon.co.uk or the Help the Hospices website.

Thanks and congratulations are due to the authors, Help the Hospices and The Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance for making this Toolkit available free.

Roger Woodruff
(May 2009)


Book Review

Issues, developments and future directions

James L Werth and Dean Blevins (Eds)

Routledge, 2009
390 pp
ISBN 978-0-415-95448-8
RRP $US49.95 £31.00 $AU90.00
Review copy supplied by Palgrave Macmillan, Australia

This volume provides a comprehensive overview of decision making in end-of-life care.  The authors discuss the different aspects of, and choices involved in, this difficult decision-making process, including the use of palliative care, advance directives, and family involvement.  Pertinent psychosocial considerations are also explored, including the impact of mental health issues, religious and spiritual beliefs, and cultural viewpoints. Media and legal influences on end-of-life decision making are also discussed.

This is a useful exploration of advance care planning and the dilemmas that may occur in practice when there is no such planning.

Roger Woodruff
(May 2009) 

Note for authors: If you wish to have your book reviewed, please send to:

Dr Roger Woodruff
IAHPC Bookshop Editor
210 Burgundy St, Suite 9
Heidelberg, Victoria 3084

Note: Review copies become property of IAHPC and are not returned to the author. Only palliative care related books which are previously approved will be reviewed. Due to the large number of requests, we can't provide exact dates of when books will be reviewed.

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