The Revd Dr Michael Wright

Books: Transitions in EU and CA







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



To what extent have hospice and palliative care developments taken hold in the countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union? Has health care reform in the wake of communism provided a climate for palliative care innovation? In which countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia have palliative care developments been most pronounced and what is the key to their success? Above all, what obstacles to improvement still exist and how can these be overcome?


This ground-breaking study sets out to answer these questions and to provide, for the first time, a detailed analysis of hospice and related services in a vast region comprising 28 countries and a population of over 400 million people.


Transitions in End of Life Care is essential reading for anyone concerned with improving the level of provision of hospice palliative care services in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and, indeed, elsewhere in the world.




David Clark and Michael Wright (2003).Transitions in End of Life Care: Hospice and Related Developments in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Buckingham: Open University Press, 300 pp. (ISBN 0-335-21286-7)




Comments and reviews


‘[This] book is a valuable summary of the needs and possibilities for structured palliative care in the countries covered … it provides good information and an insight into the achievements and shortcomings of health care in the 28 ‘post-communist countries it embraces … It is clear evidence that East and West can work together and that in medicine they both need each other. It is a book full of hope.’ Zibigniew Zylicz, British Medical Journal, 7382 January 2003: 28. (Zibigniew Zylicz is medical director, Hospice Rozenheuvel, Rosendaal, Netherlands).


Compassionate care of dying patients, without the exclusion of their families’ needs, should be an integral part of health care systems. Clark and Wright’s book is exceptional in showing the pioneering struggle of palliative care teams in reaching this very aim … it offers an important contribution to the understanding of the rich cultural heritage and local traditions in the 28 countries studied. It also indicates the importance of dialogue and understanding between the West and East. In this sense, it perfectly suits out times.’ Bogdan Stelcer (2003) Progress in Palliative Care 11 (4): 176. (Bogdan Stelcer is a member of the department of clinical psychology, Karol Marcinkowski University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland).


‘The accomplishment of this review of countries in transition from socialist to capitalist health care is quite remarkable … I particularly commend the sections on Hungary and the ‘beacon’ example of St Petersburg. These two demonstrate the depth and breadth of the research. The book is invaluable for any health workers, social scientists, and educators interested in palliative care developments in rapidly changing societies.’ Jeanne Katz, School of Health and Social Welfare, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK