Article Content

Talking About Death: Comfortable Advice About Uncomfortable Issues


Reviewed by Maureen A. Seckel, MSN


By Virgina Morris. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books, 2004. 268 pages.


Birth and death are facts in the healthcare arena. We are skilled caregivers at both the science and joy of birthing but have fewer competencies and more insecurity about care of the dying. Every healthcare provider can define for himself or herself what a "good" death is versus a "bad" death but just as in birth, the choice is not always ours to make. The care of dying patients requires us to reach within and feel comfortable about our own mortality and beliefs. Virgina Morris has written an eminently readable and practical guidebook about death and dying. Ms Morris is a journalist and is able to bring up topics such as "pulling the plug" and all the vernacular that the public use and fear in an easy-to-read format. Talking About Death: Comfortable Advice About Uncomfortable Issues is not only a book for all of healthcare but also a book you can recommend to family and friends. The book is full of rich advice to consider and discuss without being dark and threatening. It reinforces all that we do well and illuminates all the opportunities to become all that we can be as patient advocates.