In Hospice, Hospital, and at HomeBook - 2000
When Heather Robertson was told that her father had terminal cancer, she realized that, in practical ways, she was totally unprepared for his death. She had dozens of questions but found no clear place to go for answers. She was also shocked by the indifference and poor medical care she encountered, and felt the medical system let both her and her father down. After her father's death, she embarked on a journey through the world of the dying.Meeting Deathis a memoir of her travels, one that takes place on both imaginative and practical levels -- it not only looks at how health-care practitioners deal with death, but it also looks at the cultural meanings we give to death and dying and the place we allow mortality in our lives. After studying to be a home-care volunteer, she set out on a journey to see how death treats us, and how we treat death, in fact and fancy. The Greek myth of the boatman who ferries the dying from this world across the River Styx, and the modern myth, expounded by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, of five easy steps to a peaceful death, are two of the many stops on this extensive tour of a huge topic. She describes how various hospitals deal with the dying and goes in search of palliative care and the practice of hospice. Pain management, and the medical establishment's reluctance to prescribe morphine to the dying, are stops on her trip, as is a close look at home care. Other features are a trip to Uganda, a country devastated by AIDS; a tour of Gracel∧ a discussion of why some have chosen assisted suicide; and the story of Beowulf and Grendel's mother. An intriguing, multi-faceted approach to perhaps the most difficult subject of all,Meeting Deathoffers the living an unsentimental, clear-eyed view of death, its manner and its meaning.
Publisher: Toronto, Ont. : M&S, c2000
Characteristics: 352 pages ;,24 cm.