’A comment by David Clark at the front of the book summarises why this fascinating book should be read’
Title: Only Love Remains – Lessons from the Dying on the Meaning of Life
Author: Attilio Stajano
Publisher: Clairview Books Ltd
Reviewer: Carol Singleton Queen’s Nurse, North Tyneside
What was it like?
The contents of this interesting book fall into two distinctive parts, one which consists of various dying people’s thoughts, seventeen in total and the second part, the appendix that covers palliative care and end –of- life legislation across ten different countries.
What were the highlights?
All healthcare staff will have experienced looking after patients who are dying and may well be aware of the way people who are nearing death, know that this is the case and often tell staff that “I won’t be here in the morning” or will not live to see a certain event planned in next few months, and are frequently correct. On the other hand, dying patients will hold on way beyond what the medical staff think is possible because a new baby is due or a momentous family event is planned. This book highlights the need for people to finish any unfinished business they may have, make peace with friends or family they may have fallen out with and in the end be aware that “only love remains”.
Strengths & weaknesses:
There is no index but there is a bibliography and also a section called “notes”, which contains the references in another appendix, used within the main text and some useful websites.
The experiences were thought provoking but became a little tedious if read continually and it is better to read a few and then reflect.
The examples of the different laws around euthanasia are interesting and the ten countries covered in the ten parts of the appendices, include the background to palliative care, where palliative care is provided, the legal aspects and the cost of palliative care. Both parts of this book are well worth reading but seem strange bedfellows and the “epilogue” that sandwiches them together is not all together successful in explaining why they are both contained within this one volume.
Who should read it?
A comment by David Clark at the front of the book summarises why this fascinating book should be read - “Compelling narrative about care and people in the face of death. Written with grace and insight, this should be essential reading for anyone concerned about end of life care in the modern world”.
only love remains