Palliative Care: Transforming the Care of Serious Illness

Diane E. Meier, MD, FACP, FAAHPM (Editor), Stephen L. Isaacs (Editor), Robert Hughes (Editor)

Palliative Care: Transforming the Care of Serious Illness is the first book to provide a comprehensive understanding of the field that is transforming the way Americans deal with serious illness.

Dr. Diane E. Meier, one of the field's leaders and a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius” grant in 2009, opens the volume with a sweeping overview of the field. In her essay, Dr. Meier examines the roots of palliative care, explores the key legal and ethical issues, discusses the development of palliative care, and presents ideas on policies that can improve access to palliative care.

Dr. Meier's essay is followed by reprints of 25 of the most important foundational articles in the field. They range from classic pieces by some of the field's pioneers, such as Eric Cassell, Balfour Mount, and Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, to influential newer articles on topics such as caregiving and cost savings of palliative care. The reprints cover a wide range of topics including:

  • Why the care of people with serious illness is so important
  • Efforts to cope with advanced illness
  • Legal and ethical issues
  • Pain management
  • Cross-cultural issues
  • Philosophical perspectives

The demand for palliative care has been nothing short of stunning—largely because of palliative care's positive impact on both the quality and the cost of care provided to people with serious illness. By offering a wide-ranging perspective on this growing field, Palliative Care serves as a guide for developing meaningful approaches that will lead to better health care for all Americans.

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