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Since the efforts of Dame Cicely Saunders and the founders of the modern hospice movement, compassion has become a fundamental part of palliative care. In this ground-breaking book, international experts give their critical thoughts on the essence and role of compassion, in both palliative and hospice care over the past half-century. Compassion: The essence of palliative and end of life care provides insight into the motivations for, and practice of, compassionate palliative and hospice care, featuring the reflections of leading healthcare professionals, social workers, chaplains and educators. Chapters utilise case examples and first-hand experiences to explore the historical and contemporary discourse surrounding the concept of compassion in palliative medicine. This book is relevant to a multidisciplinary audience of palliative care practitioners, including undergraduate and graduate students in sociology, psychology and theology, and healthcare professionals in oncology and gerontology.