Kate Diesfeld & Ian McIntosh. Published by Thomson Reuters New Zealand Ltd, December 2014. ISBN 9780864728913. Price $150 plus GST, p&p.
This book is both very approachable and extremely comprehensive. As a New Zealand-specific resource, it brings together the expertise, experiences and practical advice of a range of respected experts in two fields; older adult health and the legal issues pertinent to this increasingly significant sector of the population.
Since older people are well represented as healthcare consumers and are a target group for government policy, this book will be an invaluable resource for all healthcare practitioners; those working in health management, advisory and advocacy roles; and for undergraduate and postgraduate students in health and law.
Elder Law in New Zealand (2014) is notable for an absence of legal jargon and the use of pertinent case studies that make it both interesting and engaging, and accessible for students. The book opens with an excellent introductory background to current health issues for older people in New Zealand and follows this with coverage of decision-making, health and human rights, advocacy and dispute resolution, elder abuse and emerging issues.
Each topic is illustrated with relevant cases or examples that illustrate application of the law in a range of healthcare contexts. Despite a layout reminiscent of legal textbooks, the practice-based focus and coverage of almost every social and many physical health issues related to the lives of older persons make this book a widely relevant resource for health professionals and educators.
Overall, this is a timely, readable book and is highly recommended to anyone seeking a plain language understanding of the legal context and implications of older adult health in New Zealand.
Susan M McNaughton
School of Interprofessional Health Studies
Auckland University of Technology (AUT)
Auckland, New Zealand