Book Review: A bit of heaven for the few?
AbstractBook reviews Max Watson, Caroline Lucas, Andrew Hoy and Ian Back eds: Oxford handbook of palliative care (****). Oxford University Press, 2005. Price: #24.95 (flexicover). ISBN: 0-19-850897-2 The oxford handbook of palliative care is one of the most recent additions to the Oxford Handbook series beloved of medical students and junior doctors. These handbooks provide a comprehensive overview of a subject appropriate for Pre-Registration House Officers and Senior House Officers (SHOs) in an easily portable size. This handbook continues this tradition and provides a good introduction to palliative care, explaining the important terminology and basic concepts at a medical or palliative care SHO level. The initial chapters are an interesting introduction but do appear to jump around subjects at times, covering physical, emotional and spiritual issues which are all covered in more detail later on. The oncology and symptom management chapters are then, in contrast, a well-organized run through of oncological diagnosis and management followed by practical, well set out symptom control information using summary tables and interspersing a variety of enlightening quotes from a variety of sources. There is a comprehensive chapter on paediatric palliative care but then what I felt was the least methodically written chapter