An expert's overview of the philosophical and procedural issues in hospice care--primarily for those professionally involved. Buckingham, one-time director of research at Hospice, Inc. in New Haven (and co-author of The First American Hospice), defines hospice care as focusing on the patient, not the illness; as making the process of dying ""a coming-together"" (not a coming-apart); as enabling the hospice patient ""to maintain his identity and capacity to contribute as a full human being."" He elaborates on the types of hospice care--hospital- or home-based. And, foremost, he discusses problems in development and administration: choosing medical directors and other staff; planning symptom-control measures; facing staff stress; using volunteers. The issue of cost receives special attention; so do the needs of children and geriatric patients, and bereavement care for families. Three major factors, says Buckingham, will determine the future of hospice care: its acceptance by the general public; its acceptance by health-care personnel; and its relationship with current health-care institutions. His own hope is for a change in attitude, not for a multiplication of facilities: ""less bricks and mortar, and more understanding. . . ."" For persons in this expanding field: succinct, thoughtful guidance.