If you follow my writing at all (or my posts at Facebook or Twitter) you already know that I’m a big fan of the PalliMed blog, where I spent hours reading the archives and current posts when starting to work on The Good Death. Which makes this review, by Anna Dauer, so exciting. Here’s a clip, below. You can read the whole thing here.
While not prescriptive about how to provide care, at times even noting hospice philosophy as patronizing, Neumann provides a descriptive, moving base of knowledge for beginning to acknowledge the work to be done to improve the quality of dying in America. Her chapters’ titles pay tribute to a meaningful situation or story, but belie the impactful prose that illustrates the experiences she recounts:
- Terminal Restlessness
- Mortality Parade
- Priceless Days
- Double Effect
- Hunger and Thirst
- A Small but Significant Minority
- The Most Vulnerable
- Dying Inside
- A Good Death
Spoiler Alert: Neumann does not define a good death. Her work won’t let us off so easily as that. But her writing will enlighten, inspire, and potentially enrage readers who are interested in the topic so often swept aside in our culture, despite its gravity and pervasiveness.
A must-read for physicians and those passionate about care for the dying in this country, The Good Death provides additional context outside the specific realm of health care, or rather reminds us how we might impact the daily living and dying for all Americans, no matter socioeconomic circumstance or credo.