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Communicating at the End of Life


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Table of Contents

Contents: Series Foreword. Preface. Part I: Hospice as a Context of Health Care and Interpersonal Communication. Beginnings. Volunteer Training. Part II: Entering the Country of the Dying. Taking the First Steps. The Volunteers' Stories. Going Out. Part III: Communication as Improvisation: Learning How to "Be There" for People at the End of Life. Living in the Moment Between Life and Death. Caring Without Conversation. Being Together, Letting Go. Part IV: Communication at the Time of Death. Endings. Volunteers' Reflections on the First Year. Hospice and Communication at the End of Life. Appendix.


"This is an account of Elissa Foster's moving experiences as a hospice volunteer, focusing in particular on communication and drawing on many stories of her experiences of being with dying people. It also reflects a critical engagement with a wide range of existing academic literature derived from sociological, anthropological and other kinds of studies of dying and hospice care. In bringing these two areas of experience and scholarship together, the author has produced a significant and insightful work, likely to be of great value to people involved both in hospice care and in developing academic perspectives on this. I congratulate the author on her achievement."
Clive Seale
Brunel University

"Communicating at the End of Life views out-patient hospice care through the eyes of a doctoral student doing ethnography by volunteering. The book offers an honest record of what volunteer visits feel like, moment by moment. New hospice volunteers and volunteer-coordinators will find the book of particular interest."
Arthur W. Frank
University of Calgary

"This book offers extraordinary insight into the emotions and surprising beauty of dying experiences. Foster strikes just the right balance between personal experience and empirical rigor."
Athena du Pre'
University of West Florida

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