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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review: "Last Acts of Kindness" by Judith Keyssar


About the author Judith Keyssar


Judith Redwing Keyssar, RN, BA, is the Director of the Palliative and End-of-Life Care Program at Seniors at Home, a division of Jewish Family and Children's Services (JFCS) of the San FranciscoBay Area. Previously, she was the Director of Patient Care Services for Zen Hospice Project (ZHP). Ms. Keyssar also spent fifteen years working in intensive care, oncology and hospice. She was "called" to be a “midwife to the dying” while she was attending her closest friend, who was dying at age 30 after sustaining severe head trauma from a motorcycle accident. The story of her initiation into the field of death and dying is presented in the prologue of the book.

As a leader and innovator in the field of palliative care, she has given presentations to professional audiences across the country. Through her own nonprofit program, Transformations in Care, as well as through ZHP and JFCS, she has taught volunteers and family caregivers from eighteen years old to ninety years old. She has served hundreds of patients and families as they have experienced the last sacred moments of life.

Ms. Keyssar has studied a broad range of complementary healing modalities, such as herbal medicine, nutrition, acupressure and massage, and guided imagery for pain and symptom management. She has worked with teachers of a variety of spiritual traditions and has led community ceremonies for over 30 years, honoring life and death, and the sacred transitions of the seasons of the earth. She is also an artist, songwriter, and poet. One of her goals is to put healing back into healthcare.

She looks forward to the day when death is again widely understood as a part of life.


Last Acts of Kindness is intended for:
All healthcare professionals, Students of medicine, nursing, social work and chaplaincy––especially those who anticipate working in palliative and end of life care. ANYONE who wishes to learn and understand more about the complex territory of death and dying in America. As you read the stories this book, you will be encouraged to consider your own thoughts and beliefs about what it truly means to live fully, knowing you will die someday. You are also asked to think about a variety of questions, including"

How would your feelings change if you were the doctor, nurse, social worker, chaplain, family member, or patient?


What would you do differently?
Which person in the story do you feel the most affinity for or aversion to? How would you communicate with that person?


Last Acts of Kindness allows a glimpse into this practice through the stories of those who have lived and died among us. In these chronicles of a midwife to the dying, Judith Redwing Keyssar speaks eloquently and from her heart about her extensive experience in the field of palliative care––providing nursing expertise along with emotional and spiritual guidance and supportfor people in hospitals, residential facilities, and in their own homes. Keyssar encourages us to examine our personal relationships to impermanence and to consider the changes needed in our healthcare system to better serve us all at the end of life.

This Book is a real tear jerker. It does open your eyes to the reality that most of us do not want to face. It is definitely worth reading if you work in relation to this field. You can find this book on Amazon.com and on Kindle.com

I received free samples to properly conduct this review & the opinions of this product are solely mine. Opinions may vary to my own. I did not receive any monetary value to conduct this review.



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