IAHPC BOOK REVIEWS
by Dr. Roger Woodruff
Palliative Care Book of the Month:
NO ONE DIES ALONE
Joseph M. Volpe
No Publisher listed, 2011
RRP $US12.99, £6.00.
These are the recollections and reflections of someone who worked on the No One Dies Alone (NODA) volunteer program at Duke University Cancer Center in North Carolina. A PhD student in computational biology and bioinformatics, Volpe recounts his experiences of being with dying patients and what he and the other volunteers learned. The varying motivational forces that lead people to this work were interesting. Volpe’s own strong Catholic faith (for which he should never be asked to apologize) sometimes threatens to get in the way of a very human story. It’s not perfectly written, but I enjoyed reading it and wondered whether there should not be more programs like this.
Create Space, 2012
RRP $US15.95, £8.90
This is a candid account of how one baby-boomer (Major, US Army (Ret), as well as co-founder and CEO of an IT company), cared for his wife through a long terminal illness. Diabetes, hypertension, strokes, dementia and depression. Sounds tough? It was. The subtitle of this book—‘Never stop caring no matter how tough it gets’—underlines the message. What Mooney learned, and has put down here, will be of comfort and help to other baby-boomers who find themselves in similar situations.
DEATH WITH DIGNITY
The Case for Legalising Physician-Assisted Dying and Euthanasia
Mill City Press, 2011
RRP $US14.95, £6.20
I didn’t find anything new in this book. It is a tirade of facts, aligned to demonstrate that he is correct, and I thought the occasional derogatory comments to those who hold a contrary view were unnecessary. There is a lot of trumpeting of the results of public opinion polls; much has been written on how meaningless they may be. To give him his credit, he raises the possibility that the recent increase in palliative sedation in the Netherlands might be doctors practicing euthanasia without all the bureaucratic hassles; given the reports that palliative sedation is used with the intention of hastening death, I would have thought that to think otherwise would be naïve.
Roger Woodruff, MD (Australia)
Dr. Woodruff is a Lifetime Member of the IAHPC Board; his bio is at http://www.hospicecare.com/Bio/r_woodruff.htm
View over 100+ IAHPC hospice & palliative care book reviews
Note for authors and publishers: 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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