Reviews of Michael Barbato’s books
Michael Barbato brings light and practical wisdom to the somewhat elusive area of paranormal experiences around death. Stories of near-death experiences both fascinate and frighten us. The temptation can be to assign these stories to the hazy realm of the supernatural, thus missing a very valuable opportunity to engage in the rich environment that the time around death can open to us. The subtitle, ‘Healing Experiences around Death’, is the very promise of this book. Michael’s experience and research provides many practical suggestions on how we facilitate a healing environment, especially during the time when the dying person may seem to us to be unaware of their surroundings. He also asks us to reflect on our current understanding of how best to care for those near death. An example of this is his quiet challenge to the, in my experience, fairly common assumption by non-family members that they may tell a dying person it is time to go. This book, written with clarity and grace, is for those of us who wish to remain open to a real awareness of the dying experience. It provides comfort and support for the dying and their carers, wisdom and practical suggestions for health professionals and shines a welcome light for all of us on the mystical nature of death.
Deborah O’Connor Health Promotion Officer, Palliative Care, La Trobe University
Caring for the palliative care patient - 1st Edition
Caring for the living and the dying - 2nd Edition
This is a handbook in the way that a travel guide is: looking after a very sick or dying loved one is an unknown country, completely uncharted territory to most of those who embark on the journey; this book guides the traveller through each stage, detailing the sometimes difficult and challenging aspects of personal hygiene care, maps out how the process of deterioration may manifest, explains what analgesia be required and why, lists unexpected pitfalls which may occur (a sudden escalation of pain! No passage of urine!), as well as charting the flatter plateaus of this terrain, which sometimes may seem to go on forever (How will I know when the end is coming? What if I simply can't manage any more?).
Laura Pearce Review from NSW Society of Palliatve Care/Medicine Newsletter - December 2002
Michael Barbato's experience and wisdom are given voice in this eloquently written book. His poignant stories broaden our understanding of death and what it means to the many patients, family and friends he has cared for. 'Dying may be easier,' he writes, 'if people were better prepared for what lay ahead. Fear rather than irrelevancy is what sets the agenda.' Barbato aims to give carers a greater insight into the wider dimensions of the dying process, not just the physical care which is of major concern, but holistic matters as well. Highly recommended.
Open Leaves Books Australian specialist bookseller in Psychotherapy and Mental Health
This is an important book not just for those caring for a sick or dying relative or friend, but for everyone. A book that can profoundly effect the reader's own emotional and spiritual journey.
Nalini Swaminathan CMPMedica Australia
Although based on Australian experience and services, nevertheless the singular purpose of caring for people with life threatening illness is a universal subject. The book is aimed at the carers point of view but gives great clarity and insight into hospice and palliative care to any reader.
Barbara Ireland NZ Hospice Journal
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