Choices at the End of Life: Finding Out What Your Parents Want - Before it's too late Paperback – August 28, 2001
Enhance your purchase
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
- Publisher : Fairview Press; 1st edition (August 28, 2001)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 192 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1577491033
- ISBN-13 : 978-1577491033
- Item Weight : 8.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.44 x 8.94 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #7,231,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Choices at the End of Life:
Finding Out What Your Parents Want before It's Too Late
(Minneapolis, MN: Fairview Press: [...], 2001) 165 pages
(ISBN: 1-57749-103-3; paperback)
(Library of Congress call number: R726.8.N67 2001)
The two authors are both nurses
who have had extensive experience in caring for the dying.
This book begins with stories illustrating the need for advance planning.
Most American do not have Advance Directives,
even tho most say they would like to have such documents.
This book wants to help readers get beyond the wishing stage
and actually begin the process of discussing and writing
that will ultimately result in legal Advance Directives for Medical Care.
As suggested in the title,
this book was written for adult children of aging parents.
But the principles could be used for creating Advance Directives
for persons of all ages.
It might even have been good for the adult children
to create their own Advance Directives along with their parents.
This would have shown that Advance Directives are for everyone
--not just people known to be nearing the end of their lives.
The authors suggest a "kitchen table discussion"
involving family (near and far), friends,
a member of the clergy, the doctor, and even the lawyer.
Some of these people might be included
by conference call or written communication.
One chapter explains the major medical decisions
that might be necessary at the end of life.
Medical technology developed to save lives
might not be appropriate when the patient is dying.
The values and goals of the patient need to be articulated.
How able is the patient to make meaningful medical decisions?
Who are the best proxies for the patient?
The doctor needs to explain the condition of the patient
and the likely course of events under various medical options.
When should hospice care be considered?
Even when there is an Advance Directive,
it is sometimes difficult to get the health-care personnel
and institutions to cooperate.
They often have their standard ways of handling such cases.
It might be necessary to change care-givers
or even to take legal action to enforce the medical directive.
In summary, this is another book about Advance Directives:
It covers all the basic information, but it does not go very deep.
For example, the authors missed their opportunity
to suggest specific language
that might be included in an Advance Directive
to achieve the results that they and the readers want.
But if we need more encouragement to begin the process,
this book contains plenty of reasons and examples
that might help to begin the "kitchen table discussion"
and might ultimately lead to a written Advance Directive.
If you would like to read other reviews of books on Advance Directives,
search the Internet for the following exact phrase:
"Books on Advance Directives for Medical Care".
James Leonard Park, medical ethicist
Linda Northlander and Kerstin McSteen deal with the very sensitive issue of discussing death and life-support treatments with your parents. Through this book, you can learn a great deal about medical terminology and the pros and cons of feeding tubes and orders like DNR and DNI, but may or may not be what your parents want. So, this book helps you and your parents decide what is best.
The chapters in this book include:
Planning a Discussion
Who's Who in Advance Care Planning
Opening the Discussion
Understanding Values and Goals
Assessing Decision-Making Ability
How to Talk with the Doctor
Completing a Healthcare Directive
Understanding Hospice Care
Kitchen Table Calamities
Grief support, hospice care and issues with honoring directives are also discussed. This book will be appreciated by caregivers and by the person who knows they will need to be making many of the main decisions in regards to healthcare for an elderly relative. While difficult to read about death, it does bring an understanding to the healthcare issues everyone faces at the end of life. You may also want to read this book if you are working on a Living Will/Advance Directive. The last time I was in a hospital one of the first things the nurse asked me was if I had a Living Will, so this book may be useful for more than end of life issues.
~The Rebecca Review
This book provides excellent background on why these 'kitchen table discussions' need to take place, and, more importantly, how to engage loved ones in these conversations. The examples are real and I believe many readers will be able to identify and relate to them. In addition, there are numerous resources listed at the back of the book, so that obtaining appropriate forms for documenting your parent's wishes will not be an impediment.
Our elders talk about this topic among themselves frequently. Now is the time to bring those conversations out into the open.
If this practical book isn't enough to get people started, I'd like to see Norlander and McSteen take the next step and organize community workshops whereby participants can practice the converstations and become even more comfortable raising these issues with their parents and relatives.
Thank you Ms. Norlander and Ms. McSteen