A Physician's Guide to Coping with Death and Dying

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McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, 2005 - Medical - 286 pages
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Education about death and dying has been almost ignored in medical schools. Recently, however, it has become increasingly obvious that the preferences of dying patients are being ignored, leaving many patients to die lonely, scared, and in pain. There is a growing realization that physicians can help dying patients achieve a more peaceful death and increased recognition that good end-of-life care is not just the province of specialized hospice physicians or nurses. In A Physician's Guide to Coping with Death and Dying Jan Swanson and Alan Cooper, a physician and a clinical psychologist with many years of experience, offer insights to help medical students, residents, physicians, nurses, and others become more aware of the different stages in the dying process and learn how to communicate more effectively with patients and their families. They also discuss the ways physicians and other caregivers can learn to reduce their own stress levels and avoid the risk of burnout, allowing them to achieve balance in their lives and be more effective professionally. The authors use case examples and thought-provoking exercises to provide a personal learning experience. A Physician's Guide to Coping with Death and Dying includes an extensive bibliography and a unique web resource section with contacts to many organizations working with patients suffering from life-threatening illnesses.
 

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Contents

Understanding Death
3
Stages of Dying
14
The Physicians Role in a Peaceful Death
39
Treatment Options
62
PART TWO INTERACTING WITH PATIENTS AND FAMILIES
71
Talking with the Dying Patient
73
Facing the End of Life
90
Death in the Emergency Department
98
Physicians as Patients
127
PART THREE COPING
131
Coping with the Death of a Patient
133
Physicians SelfCare
149
Dealing with the Guilt Getting Rid of Shame
161
Problems in Coping
190
Relaxation Skills Meditation and Visualization
199
Keeping a Journal
205

Death and Children
104
The Spiritual Needs of Children Who are Dying
120
Opening Up to Others
216
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About the author (2005)

Jan Swanson has a private practice in internal medicine, with a specialty in HIV medicine. She has treated many patients with life-threatening illnesses.

Alan Cooper has a private practice in clinical psychology and has treated many patients with serious medical problems such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitus C, and cirrhosis of the liver. They work and live in Arlington, Texas.

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