Chronic and Terminal Illness – New perspectives on Caring and Carers

Edited by Sheila Payne and Caroline Ellis-Hill.
Oxford University Press
ISBN 0 19263167 5

How would you react if your life were turned upside down by
illness in a close family member? Would you feel burdened by
responsibility or embrace your new role of carer? Could you give
personal care to your father or husband, or would you feel that you
were being asked to do something unreasonable?

Chronic and Terminal Illness is an edited collection of
essays, which looks at the modern role of carers, their reactions
to becoming a carer and the notions of obligation and kinship that
bind them to the task. Mike Nolan looks at the positive aspects of
caring and challenges the traditionally held view that carers are
burdened and oppressed by the need to care. Meanwhile, Magi Sque
writes a hard-hitting chapter on the difficult path carers have to
travel in accepting confirmation of brainstem death and subsequent
organ donation, following critical injury.

Edited collections frequently suffer from a lack of focus and
the sensation of being a random selection of essays gathered under
a common theme. However, despite some repetition and an annoying
disparity in some statistical information (is it 6 or 6.8 million
carers in Britain?), this is an interesting collection with a
strong editorial overview.

Rachel Wooller is an outreach worker, Alzheimer’s

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