Writing the Final Chapter on Life: Sheila Himmel Speaks About the Role of Spirituality in End-of-Life Care

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Sheila Himmel, coauthor with Fran Smith of Changing the Way We Die (Viva Editions 2014), recently spoke with The Catholic Voice about incorporating religious practices into palliative care.

Changing the Way We Die: Compassionate End-of-life Care and the Hospice Movement

"This book belongs in every public and health-care library in America."—Library Journal

Once viewed with suspicion as a New Age indulgence or fringe religious practice, hospice has become a $14 billion-a-year business and arguably the most successful segment of health care in America. In Changing the Way We Die, award-winning journalists Fran Smith and Sheila Himmel investigate what hospice means to today’s aging population and their families. It’s the first book to take a sweeping look at the hospice landscape, reporting the stories of patients, caregivers and cutting-edge researchers, as well as the corporate giants that increasingly own this market.

Sheila Himmel, a San Francisco bay area resident, recently was interviewed by The Catholic Voice Oakland about what role faith plays for patients and caregivers in the hospice system. She said, "Spiritual care providers are an integral part of the hospice team. One of the great insights of the early hospice movement in the 1960s was that that pain at the end of life doesn't stem only, or even primarily, from the physical ravages of disease. Suffering has spiritual and existential dimensions. That's why Medicare requires that hospices provide spiritual care."

Join Fran Smith and Sheila Himmel at these upcoming events for Changing the Way We Die (also available as an audiobook):

8/26: New York Public Library, NY - 6:30pm

10/13: Litquake, Fouladi Projects Art Gallery, San Francisco, CA - 6:30pm

10/27: The Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco, CA - 4:30pm

10/29: Salinas Valley Medical Center, Salinas, CA - 5:30pm

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