The concept of a "good death" has been hotly debated in medical circles for decades. This volume delves into the possibility and desirability of a "good death" by presenting the psychosocial measures of care as a crucial component, such as religion, existentialism, hope and meaning-making. The volume also focuses on oncologic psychiatry and the influence of technology as a means to alleviate pain and suffering, and potentially provide relief to those at the end of life. Such initiatives are aimed at diminishing pain and are socially bolstering and emotionally comforting to ensure a peaceful closure with life as opposed to a battle waged.
Utilizing the most recent information from medical journals and books to present the latest on healthcare and dying today, this volume crosses the boundaries of thanatology, psychology, religion, spirituality, medical ethics and public health.
Table of Contents
Introduction Part I: Aspects of Death and Dying 1. Western Attitudes to Death 2. Twenty-First Century Death: Social and Political Priorities and the Good Death 3. End-of-Life Care & the Good Death 4. The Philosophy of Hospice Care, the Practice of Palliative Medicine, & the Good Death Part II: Psychosocial Interventions to Promote a Good Death 5. The Psychological Viewpoint 6. Spirituality, Religion and the Good Death 7. Psychotherapeutic Interventions in End-of-Life Care Part III: Characterizing the Concept of the Good Death 8. What Promise Exists for a Good Death?
Peggy Sturman Gordon received her second Master’s degree in Thanatology from Brooklyn College. In addition, she is a trained art and horticultural therapist and has worked with the geriatric population for more than a decade.
"This is a well–written synopsis of the history and our current state of thinking about what constitutes a Good Death. The first thing that drew me in was her frequent quotation or reference to people I have come to respect—Ira Byock, Christina Puchalski, Balfour Mount, Cicely Saunders, Allan Kellehear, Atul Gawande, Harvey Chochinov, Bill Breitbart—to mention a few. The second was that the text was brief, to the point, and well referenced...I would recommend this book to anyone who works in Palliative Care as a good summary of where we are at in looking after the patient’s interests. Which is what we are meant to be doing."
Roger Woodruff, Hospice Care Newsletter