THE PATIENT, DEATH AND THE FAMILY by

THE PATIENT, DEATH AND THE FAMILY

By
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KIRKUS REVIEW

This collectanea dealing with the management of death -- that terminus to which we append further question marks by concealment, evasion, depersonalization -- emerged from a conference (Rochester General Hospital and University of Rochester School of Medicine). Although most of the essays are by doctors, they asseverate that physicians need both assistance and training to help people ""die gracefully, to live while they are dying"" or as a chaplain adds, to be granted a dignified death. There are assorted considerations: terminal care and the reactions -- from worthlessness to hostility -- of the patient; the child with the fatal illness -- when and what should he be told?; the patient and the doctor; the patient and the family who often join him in mutual pretense, etc. Robert Jay Lifton goes beyond Freud and Jung to discuss his concept that man requires sense of immortality, and Robert Anderson, the playwright, gives a personal version of his five year vigil over his wife (the basis of his last novel). Primarily this is for professionals and paramedical personnel, although here and there we can learn how not to isolate ourselves or the person we are about to lose at a time which demands honest communication.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1974
Publisher: Scribners