All Kinds of Love
Throughout the course of our lives we will experience the deterioration of a loved one due to illness or aging. This may cause us to make a choice of how and where we choose our loved one to die. Authors, Carolyn Jaffe and Carol H. Ehrlich, in their book All Kinds of Love, illustrate how the relationships between doctors, patients', family, friends, hospice volunteers, and hospice nurses all play an important role during he patients last days as they try to reach a "good death".
In the book's foreword, Rabbi Earl A. Grollman comments on Jaffe's history of nursing experience and states "Her stories bring alive the concerns, the surprises, the victories, the disappointments, the mistakes, the uncertainties, the joys, and the pain that are part of one's dying" (1, p. v). The preface focuses on the type of care Hospice provides for the patient and family, while the section entitled "Hospice is..." provides a detailed definition of hospice.
Chapter One demonstrates the sensitivity a hospice nurse must use when dealing with new patients and how the nurse must remain unbiased at all times. Chapter Two reviews the family emotional strains and stresses which can be experienced when a loved one is dying within the home and how different people deal with the change. In Chapter Three we can develop a deeper understanding of an individual's strength and acceptance through the story of Karen, a seven year old who is dying from cancer. The different coping mechanisms expressed by Karen's parents are very contrast dramatically as the needs of survivors vary.
Chapter Four highlights patients' need for control and decision making over his or her own life. In Chapter Five, Henrietta, the patient had very little control over her treatment and pain because her husband refused to accept her dying, until Janice (hospice nurse) promised her dignity during death. In Chapter Six, William tries a new method of pain control and his spirits are lifted as he once again has some control in his life as expressed in his statement, "I can't believe the power I have"(1, p.194).
Chapter Seven lightly touches upon the death of AIDS patients, and the stigmatism's and rejection they may face, but also exhibits the patients' ability to control their moment of death.
The joy which a family can gain when there is an open acceptance of a loved ones death is visible in Chapter Eight as John's family makes the most of their time together before he dies. In Chapter Nine, the gifts gained by one nurse's accounts over her career are presented in a touching remembrance. In Appendix A, hospice's evolution towards better care is expressed along with Jaffe and Ehrlich's personal views on how Hospice can be improved. Appendix B provides home remedies for many common symptoms of illnesses which can be used in practical situations. A listing of compassion groups and other support contacts are in Appendix C.
Throughout the book, we learn that religion, values, needs and personal experiences all contribute to the type of care an individual receives. A flexible and unbiased attitude is needed in order for the caregivers methods to be effective.
Jaffe and Ehrlich's purpose in writing this book is to provide people with a holistic understanding of hospice care by highlighting the many factors of hospice care, such as: pain control, nursing support, Medicare, availability of hospice programs, curriculum of medical students, sensitivity to religious beliefs, as well as the details of each area. Through their stories, they provide examples of the above areas to help the reader understand the benefits of Hospice care.
This paper will provide an outline of the main points in the preface, introduction, and each of the nine chapters and appendix A; excluding the foreword, Appendix B, and Appendix C.
Byock explains "the power to change public and professional attitudes lies within the stories of people's experiences in dying" (1, p. viii). This solidifies the purpose of this book as the reader tries to understand the experiences within. Byock also hopes to change society's views, one person at a time. He explains: "The stories in All Kinds of Love highlight what is possible: Care that delivers on a commitment to provide comfort. Care that allows