Marianne LaPorte Matzo, Deborah Witt Sherman, eds. New York, NY: Springer Publishing; 2001. 545 pages, $59.95. ISBN: 0826113842.

End-of-life competencies developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing serve as the organizing framework for this palliative care textbook. Spiritual, cultural, emotional, social, and physical aspects of care for the patient and family are supported by theory and concepts derived from nursing, law, ethics, and the sciences. Self-assessment exercises integrated throughout the text help the reader to gain a greater self-awareness of personal knowledge, attitudes, and values related to providing end-of-life care. Content is generally well-developed and incorporates seminal works, current research, pertinent references for further study, and some quick-reference tables; however, the text lacks the experiential richness of actual case studies.

There is significant amount of content focused on the religious, spiritual, and cultural aspects of death and dying; however, there are also several inaccuracies related to beliefs and...

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