Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness

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Oxford University Press, Jun 3, 2011 - Self-Help - 317 pages
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Modern medical technology has changed not only the way we live but also the way we die. Until two generations ago, people usually died suddenly, after an accident or serious illness. Now, most of us will live with chronic conditions, and our dying will usually take longer, require more care, and demand more planning than ever before. Handbook for Mortals is warmly addressed to all those who wish to approach the final years of life with greater awareness of what to expect and greater confidence about how to make the end of their lives a time of growth, comfort, and meaningful reflection. Written by Dr. Joanne Lynn and a team of experts, this book provides equal measures of practical information and wise counsel. Readers will learn what decisions they will need to face, what choices are available to them, where to look for help, how to ease pain and other symptoms, what to expect with specific diseases, how the health-care system operates, and how the entire experience affects dying persons, their families, and their friends. Such practical information is indispensable. But equally important are the personal stories included here of how people have come to terms with serious illness and dying, how they have faced their fears and made their choices. These give us moving firsthand insights into a profoundly important process, one that is often kept hidden in our culture. From down-to-earth advice on how to talk to your doctor to inspiring quotes from such writers as Emily Dickinson, W. H. Auden, Jane Kenyon, and others, Handbook for Mortals addresses the needs of both the body and the spirit in our final years.
 

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HANDBOOK FOR MORTALS: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness

User Review  - Kirkus

A clear guide and a steadying hand for those with a life-threatening illness: medical, emotional, spiritual—and above all, practical—help for day-to day living. Lynn (director of the George ... Read full review

Handbook for mortals: guidance for people facing serious illness

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Designed for caregivers as well as patients, this book combines insights and inspiration with practical information and sensible suggestions for coping with critical, debilitating illnesses and the ... Read full review

Contents

1 Living with Serious Illness
3
2 Enduring and Changing
15
3 Finding Meaning
28
4 Helping Family Make Decisions and Give Care
42
5 Getting the Help You Need
54
6 Talking with Your Doctor
69
7 Controlling Pain
87
8 Managing Other Symptoms
109
11 Deciding about Medical Interventions
167
12 Hastening Death
179
13Coping with Events Near Death
190
14 The Dying of Children
205
15 Dying Suddenly
217
16 Enduring Loss
226
17 Resources
244
Acknowledgments
267

9 Living with Specific Illnesses
121
10 Planning Ahead
150

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About the author (2011)

Joanne Lynn, MD is one of the first hospice physicians in the US, one of the major contributors to research and policy on care for the last phase of life, and a former professor at Dartmouth and George Washington University . Joan Harrold, MD is the Medical Director/Vice President of Medical Services of Hospice of Lancaster County in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Janice Lynch Schuster is Senior Writer for Altarum Institute, where she specializes in writing about health care and public health. She has worked with Dr. Lynn since 1997 on efforts to improve end-of-life care.

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