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Cultural Issues in End-of-Life Decision Making

Kathryn L. Braun University of Hawaii, Manoa
James H. Pietsch University of Hawaii, Manoa
Patricia L. Blanchette University of Hawaii, Manoa
© 1999   368 pages   SAGE Publications, Inc   
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Paperback ISBN: 9780761912170 $95.00

"Cultural Issues in End-of-Life Decision Making creates an engrossing tension as chapters on philosophical topics are interwoven with clinically-oriented ones including case examples that ground the reader in the reality of most human decisions. I highly recommend this book to researchers, health care providers, clergy, and other practitioners dealing with end-of-life issues." ---Catherine Hagan Hennessy, Health Care and Aging Studies Branch, Center for Disease Control and Prevention

End-of-life decision making is one of the most difficult but crucial challenges faced by patients and their families. In most cases, resources or counselors providing guidance in these decisions are not available. This book is intended to prepare nurses, physicians, and other health care workers to fill this role, insofar as they are most frequently in contact with the patient and his/her family and significant others at the time choices must be made. In this informative, practical book, Braun, Pietsch, and Blanchette first review the medical, legal, and ethical context of the dying experience, discussing ethnic perspectives and religious issues. For example, providing cultural and spiritually sensitive care requires that nurses, physicians, social work and others know and understand the implications of family members beliefs about life and death, supportive rituals and other activities. This book does a creditable job of presenting the issues and a broad overview of culture and common religions in America.

About the Editors:

Kathryn L. Braun, Dr.P.H., is Director of the University of Hawaii Center on Aging and an Associate Professor at the University of Hawaii School of Public Health. She is a Fellow in the Gerontological Society of American and the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. James H. Pietsch, J.D., is Director of the University of Hawaii Elder Law Program (UHELP), an Associate Professor at the William S. Richardson School of Law, and a Clinical Adjunct Professor at the John A. Burns School of Medicine. In 1990, he was the recipient of the Fifth Annual Paul Lichterman Memorial Award for contributions to the advancement of Law and Aging.

Patricia L. Blanchette, M.D., M.P.H., is a Professor of Medicine and Public Health at the John A. Burns School of Medicine and School of Public Health at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Dr. Blanchette is the Director of the Medical School’s cross-departmental Geriatric Medicine Program, and Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program, the Pacific Islands Geriatric Education Center of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine. Dr. Blanchette has won numerous awards and honors, including an Excellence in Teaching Award, Distinguished Alumni, Best Doctors in America, and the Soroptimist’s Women of Distinction Award.

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