BOOKS

When Your Baby Dies

Through Miscarriage or Stillbirth

Louis’s first book, When Your Baby Dies Through Miscarriage or Stillbirth (Augsburg Fortress, 2002) co-authored with Ann Taylor Cooney, was inspired by the personal experience of losing a child. When Louis and his wife, Marla, learned that their unborn son had trisomy 18, a genetic condition considered “incompatible with life” outside the womb, they chose to give Anthony Francis the best and longest life possible until natural death.

Anthony Francis was born at full term weighing only 3 pounds and he lived less than an hour. He was baptized and then held in loving arms for the duration of his earthly life. He had a Catholic funeral Mass and burial.

An abundance of loving support from family and friends enabled Louis and Marla to start a children’s library in memory of Anthony Francis at their home parish, St. Luke Catholic Church in Temple, Texas. In order to create an inviting space, local artist Betsi Chamlee was commissioned to paint an original mural on a wall of the library. Her montage of Old Testament images such as the Garden of Eden and Noah’s rainbow emphasizes the core theme of divine goodness inherent in all creation, “…and God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:31)

What others say about When Your Baby Dies Through Miscarriage or Stillbirth:

"When Your Baby Dies Through Miscarriage or Stillbirth acknowledges the many questions that arise in the bereaved parents’ hearts, and positively provides direction for the challenging journey of grief.” — Cathi Lammert, RN, executive director of National SHARE Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support.

“A clear, thoughtful portrayal of the devastation expectant parents experience when their awaited baby dies.”

Elizabeth Levang, PhD, best-selling author and bereavement expert,

Ethical Practice in Grief Counseling

Springer Publishing Company, 2009

Through his work as a psychologist for people who are bereaved or nearing death, Louis has encountered many different clinical dilemmas. Some involved end-of-life questions about withdrawing treatment, providing artificial nutrition and hydration, or desires to hasten death. Others involved surrogates making decisions for unresponsive patients. Providing grief therapy frequently generates questions about how to protect confidentiality, use best practices, and integrate spiritual and cultural elements into the therapeutic dialogue.

Teaming with co-author R. Hal Ritter, PhD, Louis wrote Ethical Practice in Grief Counseling (Springer Publishing Company, 2009). This text is the definitive source on how health care professionals can incorporate ethical principles into everyday clinical practice. Louis stressed how important it is for health care professionals to possess “death competence”—specialized skill in tolerating and managing patients’ problems related to dying, death, and bereavement. He developed the Five P Model, a framework for ethical decision-making that can be applied to a wide range of practical and clinical problems.

What others say about Ethical Practice in Grief Counseling:

"“Ethical Practice in Grief Counseling may well be the most important book in our field this decade. Grief counseling has become a "wild west" with many practitioners making their own rules as they go. Gamino and Ritter have made a contribution of inestimable value that is must reading for everyone in our field.” — William G. Hoy, Baylor University clinical professor of medical humanities.

“Gamino and Ritter do an excellent job of providing timely advice and helpful suggestions for how professionals can manage ethical dilemmas that arise from the practice of grief counseling.”

J. William Worden, Harvard psychology professor emeritus.

Louis is currently working on his third book, a series of scripture reflections intended for persons of faith seeking devotional material. Samples of his reflections have appeared in The Catholic Spirit published by the Diocese of Austin, Texas.