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Crossing OverNarratives of Palliative Care$
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David Barnard, Anna M. Towers, Patricia Boston, and Yanna Lambrinidou

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780195123432

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195123432.001.0001

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Stanley Gray: “Like Lazarus, He Came Back from the Dead”

Stanley Gray: “Like Lazarus, He Came Back from the Dead”

Chapter:
(p.212) 12 Stanley Gray: “Like Lazarus, He Came Back from the Dead”
Source:
Crossing Over
Author(s):

David Barnard (Contributor Webpage)

Patricia Boston R.N.

Anna Towers

Yanna Lambrinidou

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195123432.003.0012

This chapter discusses the case of Stanley Gray, the only living patient in this study as the researchers completed the book. Mr. Gray was admitted to a home care program because he appeared to be dying from congestive heart failure (CHF) and end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, his conditions improved, surprising everyone. Although he was dependent on oxygen, morphine, and eight bronchodilator treatments every day, Mr. Gray regained independence and developed a deeply religious life. One year after his admission to the hospice, his social worker believed Mr. Gray was no longer in a terminal phase. His nurse believed otherwise: that he was just functional and could die at any time. The chapter shows the unpredictability of the CHF and COPD diseases and the challenge they present to the current hospice care system of the United States. It illustrates the boundary between palliative and long-term care and the personal and relational transformations that can happen in the terminal phase. The chapter also explores the questions of religious faith and the role religion plays in the medication and treatment of terminally ill patients.

Keywords:   home care, heart failure, pulmonary disease, religious life, hospice care, palliative care, long-term care

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