A hospice is a ""caring community"" for the terminally ill, offering help in the sick person's home when possible and inpatient services when necessary. Unlike a hospital, the hospice favors pain and symptom control (via strong medication) over aggressive treatment, and attempts to avoid the new-nurse-each-night syndrome and to meet individual needs--providing a garden view or piping in favorite music. Expressions of personality are encouraged; young children and even pets are welcomed by the staff; and a battery of committed volunteers as well as a minimum of medical technology at once lowers overall costs and creates a healthier atmosphere. In practice, this pertains most broadly to cancer patients but anyone with an advancing degenerative disease can apply. In describing hospices here (California, Connecticut) and in England, Stoddard cites the work of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and other influential movement supporters who affirm that dying is not an event but a process, and one that requires assistance. Although the book starts slowly (readers must get past some rather overwritten accounts of historical precidents), the argument has a variety of merits; even those who resist the concept of dying as a lifecycle chapter will attend to the idea of limiting medical intervention and dying with dignity at home or in a home-like setting.