Henry S. Perkins: A guide to psychosocial and spiritual care at the end of life
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Henry Perkins, an internist at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, was a bioethics fellow under the guidance of Albert R. Jonsen. Over the course of his fellowship, and after serving both as a missionary doctor in Africa and as a clinical ethicist in the United States, Perkins reached the conclusion that every illness is multidimensional, not just bioscientific, with all of these dimensions—particularly the psychosocial, social, ethical, cultural, and spiritual ones—deserving attention.
The question that the panic-stricken patient asks in response to a new fatal diagnosis is often “How long do I have to live, Doctor?” This question is, in my opinion, key to this great book, as so much of how the patient responds to her diagnosis depends upon the doctor’s immediate answer.
The author organizes his work into two parts. After the first introductory section, the second through fifth chapters present basic information necessary for those who are not medically...
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