Leslie's Reviews > Last Rights: Rescuing the End of Life from the Medical System

Last Rights by Stephen P. Kiernan
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Sep 12, 08

Recommended to Leslie by: Laura Yudusky
Recommended for: Anybody who wants a snapshot of death with chronic disease in the U.S. today
Read in September, 2008, read count: 1

This book is a fair assessment of many of the problems with dying in the U.S. right now. Although I hope that some of it is out-of-date (ignoring advanced directives is unconscionable), it addresses many of the inadequacies of physician education, public awareness, and physician-patient communication that make end-of-life care so often an alienating, painful experience. When we as medical practitioners can overcome our fears of patients' reactions, of our own feelings, and of professional censure, and patients can learn that using more medical care than they need can be worse than using less (the author beautifully states that "Medicine and love are not the same thing"), we can begin to change a culture that is systematically bad for the people it is supposed to serve. Many hurrahs for all who raise a voice that the restrictions on use of hospice are woefully misaligned with good patient care!
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