The Revd Dr Michael Wright

Books: Hospice SE Asia







Hensall Book






and Palliative Care

in Southeast Asia








Victor Zorza:

A Life Amid Loss



 and Palliative Care

in Africa


Transitions in End of Life Care in Eastern Europe and Central Asia


A Bit of Heaven for the Few



Since the turn of the century, there has been worldwide growth in the effort to improve the quality of end of life care. Alongside these initiatives, growing interest in the international development of hospice and palliative care has created the need for an informed, in depth overview of the state of development in different world regions.

A follow-up to the successful
Hospice and Palliative Care in Africa: a review of developments and challenges (Wright and Clark, OUP 2006), this book provides a detailed evidence-base of the palliative care provision in Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines, identifies barriers to development and how these may be overcome. The book aims to stimulate a more informed debate around these issues, to improve policy-making among intergovernmental and governmental organisations on end of life care in these regions, and to encourage further research and improved practice.



Michael Wright, Ednin Hamzah, Temsak Phungrassami, Agnes Bausa-Claudio (2010) Hospice and Palliative Care in Southeast Asia: A Review of Developments and Challenges in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. Oxford: Oxford University  Press, pp. 232. (ISBN 978-0-19-957-496-4)





Data has been gathered from multiple sources, field visits, and interviews with key activists made possible by close working relations with hospice-palliative care colleagues across the region and in particular through links with the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN) and the national associations of each country. This book will be of relevance to anyone interested in international palliative care, including practitioners, researchers, policy-makers, social scientist, and medical historians.





Comments and reviews


The very short life of palliative care as a distinct form of care means that there is not a long history of academic exploration and scrutiny. Cicely Saunders, the founder of the modern hospice movement, was instrumental in creating a professional discipline, the hallmark of which has been the combination of scientific understanding with personal concern. It is, therefore, encouraging to read a book that combines these approaches to our understanding of the challenges for the growth of palliative care services in southeast Asia…By illustrating the impact of countless people on the way that services have grown, Wright has made a major contribution to understanding the unique way that each of us can contribute. In many ways this is a heart-warming book...’ Rod MacLeod (2010)Hopeful stories of palliative care in southeast Asia. The Lancet Volume 375 Issue 9725 pp1515-1516, 1 May. (Rod MacLeod is the director of palliative care, North Shore Hospice, Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand).


‘Following on from Hospice and Palliative Care in Africa, medical sociologist Michael Wright provides a review of the development of hospice and palliative care in Southeast Asia...Given that the barriers to developing palliative care in these countries, particularly in rural areas, is far greater than we faced in developed societies, one can only feel admiration. Josefina Magno, who founded the organization that was to become IAHPC, is appropriately identified as one who helped kick-start palliative care in the Philippines.  I was one of those honoured to speak at the initial palliative care meeting organised by the Philippine Cancer Society in Manila, when palliative care was definitely in its infancy. To read about what has happened since then is remarkable, although what remains to be done is daunting. I think these books are a very useful source of information for palliative care planning at all levels and also serve to show how other people were able to overcome some of  the barriers the faced. Roger Woodruff (2010) International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care News Volume 11, 3 March. (Roger Woodruff was director of palliative care at Austin Health, Melbourne from 1996-2007 and is a board member of the International Association of Hospice and Palliative Care.