Palliative Care is the first book to provide a comprehensive understanding of the new field that is transforming the way Americans deal with serious illness. Diane E. Meier, M.D., one of the field's leaders and a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius award" in 2009, opens the volume with a sweeping overview of the field. In her essay, Dr. Meier examines the roots of palliative care, explores the key legal and ethical issues, discusses the development of palliative care, and presents ideas on policies that can improve access to palliative care. Dr. Meier's essay is followed by reprints of twenty-five of the most important articles in the field. They range from classic pieces by some of the field's pioneers, such as Eric Cassel, Balfour Mount, and Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, to influential newer articles on topics such as caregiving and cost savings of palliative care. The reprints cover a wide range of topics including: Why the care of the seriously ill is so important Efforts to cope with advanced illness Legal and ethical issues Pain management Cross-cultural issues Philosophical perspective The demand for palliative care has been nothing short of stunning-largely because of palliative care's positive impact on both the quality and the cost of care provided to seriously ill individuals. By providing a wide-ranging perspective on this growing field, this book will serve as a guide for developing meaningful approaches that will lead to better health care for all Americans.