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Palliative Care: Transforming the Care of Serious Illness

Palliative Care: Transforming the Care of Serious Illness is the first book to provide a comprehensive look at the new field of medicine that is transforming the way Americans deal with serious illness. Diane E. Meier, Stephen L. Isaacs, Robert Hughes (Editors)

New York, NY (Vocus) April 1, 2010 -- Palliative Care: Transforming the Care of Serious Illness is the first book to provide a comprehensive look at the new field of medicine that is transforming the way Americans deal with serious illness.

Diane E. Meier, MD, one of the field's leaders and a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius award" in 2009, opens the volume with a sweeping overview of the field. In her essay, Dr. Meier examines the roots of palliative care, explores the key legal and ethical issues, discusses the development of palliative care, and presents ideas on policies that can improve access to palliative care.

As part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Series on Health Policy, the book will serve as a guide to meaningful approaches toward improving the quality of care seriously ill Americans receive today. “Palliative care…recognizes that serious illness and the suffering that accompanies it is a universal human condition, affecting every one of us. It strives to redress the fragmentation and discontinuities of the health care system, recognizing that the patient and the family still need care when they leave the hospital or the doctor’s office,” Meier writes.

Meier's essay is followed by reprints of twenty-five of the most important articles in the field. They range from classic pieces by some of the field's pioneers, such as Eric Cassell, Balfour Mount, and Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, to influential newer articles on topics such as caregiving and the cost savings of palliative care. The reprints cover a wide range of topics including:

- Why the care of the seriously ill is so important
- Efforts to cope with advanced illness
- Legal and ethical issues
- Pain management
- Cross-cultural issues
- Philosophical perspective

The demand for palliative care has been nothing short of stunning—largely because of palliative care's positive impact on both the quality and the cost of care provided to seriously ill individuals. By providing a wide-ranging perspective on this growing field, this book will serve as a guide for developing meaningful approaches that will lead to better health care for all Americans. The book is co-edited by Stephen L. Isaacs and Robert Hughes.

About the Author
Diane E. Meier, MD is Director of both the Center to Advance Palliative Care and the Lilian and Benjamin Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. Meier is currently working with the Senate HELP Committee as a 2009-2010 Health and Aging Policy Fellow. Dr. Meier is the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Institute on Aging Academic Career Leadership Award, and the Alexander Richman Commemorative Award for Humanism in Medicine. Dr. Meier is also the recipient of a 2008 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

About the Center to Advance Palliative Care
The Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) provides health care professionals with the tools, training, and technical assistance necessary to start and sustain successful palliative care programs in hospitals and other health care settings. Located at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, CAPC is a national organization dedicated to increasing the availability of quality palliative care services for people facing serious illness.

Palliative Care: Transforming the Care of Serious Illness
Diane E. Meier, Stephen L. Isaacs, Robert Hughes (Editors);
ISBN: 978-0-470-52717-7,
Paperback, 464 pages, March 2010, $75.00

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