A Good Dying: Shaping Health Care for the Last Months of Life

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Psychology Press, 1998 - Social Science - 188 pages
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A Good Dying: Shaping Health Care for the Last Months of Life examines the critical issues of improving the quality of health care for end-of-life patients. Managers of health care will gain valuable suggestions and ideas for creating and maintaining policies that pertain to individuals with various diagnoses, family structures, and personal needs. A Good Dying provides methods and examples that will help you focus on the needs of your patients and make their last days as comfortable as possible.

Emphasizing the need for further education of health care professionals and the need for additional research, A Good Dying offers possible solutions to the many barriers of improving conditions for the dying. You will be able to directly apply the information in this book to fulfill and understand the needs of dying patients. Specific topics covered include:
  • portraying death and dying through art and using examples that show how death can be perceived as either noble or dehumanizing
  • emphasizing the benefits and conditions of life in hospice care
  • educating physicians on the topic of pain management and making patients aware of pain relief treatments
  • examining challenges to pain management, such as patients'fear of addiction and physicians'fear of inadequacy if the treatment fails
  • evaluating the adequacy and completeness of individual health care in four areas: location of death, transitions among health care settings, changes in physical and cognitive functions in the last year of life, and financial circumstances of the family after death
  • measuring quality of life at the end of life by examining the physical and emotional pain of the patient, financial and emotional effects on the patient's family, provider continuity, and advanced care planning

    With contributions from physicians, patients, families, chaplains, and insurers, the chapters in A Good Dying offers you several different perspectives on strategies and policies needed to enhance the quality of life for the dying. You'll receive innovative ideas, program models, and strategies for evaluating policies designed to help patients, enabling you to offer better patient care. Complete with current data and statistics on the topic, A Good Dying will help you best accommodate your patients during their final days.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Current Practice Future Possibilities
29
Possibilities
37
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Joanne Lynn is Director of The Washington Home Center for Palliative Care Studies, Senior Scientist at the RAND Corporation, and President of Americans for Better Care of the Dying. She is the coauthor of "Improving Care for the End of Life: A Sourcebook for Health Care Managers and Clinicians "(2000) and "Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness "(1999), among other books. She has coedited several books, including "A Good Dying: Shaping Health Care for the Last Months of Life "(1998) and "By No Extraordinary Means: The Choice to Forgo Life-Sustaining Food and Water "(1986). She has also been a physician serving people living out the end of life in hospices, nursing homes, home care, and hospitals.

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