Arizona reader, March 12, 2014 (view all comments by Arizona reader)
We are reading this book for our book club. A former member died recently, two others died a few years ago and another has a terminal condition. We hope to stimulate a discussion of end of life issues. I believe the author of the book died recently.
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Tim Cook, April 25, 2009 (view all comments by Tim Cook)
I read this book for the Death and Dying class I teach. It is a very touching, practical, and accessible into what happens to people dying of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, and other common ailments. I particularly liked the weaving of personal stories into the scientific explanations. This is a good read for anyone who fears the dying process and wants to learn more about it.
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mrg0888, September 18, 2008 (view all comments by mrg0888)
When I found out that my 80 year old grandmother had advanced cancer and was choosing not to treat it... I found myself suddenly afraid for her because I was uncomfortable with the fact that I didn't know what would happen to her at the end. I didn't know anyone with cancer who chose not to remove it or treat it with chemo.
I bought this book because it gave me exactly what I wanted to know and didn't try to beat around the bush about the bodily processes that happen when we die.
At first I was only interested in finding out about cancer, but I found myself reading the book from cover to cover.
It is so wonderful to find someone who is willing to give the facts on this subject! It gave me great comfort because I knew what was coming and didn't have to fear the unknown... When my grandmother's disease progressed, I was ready. She passed on 09/02/2008.
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peter in port, October 28, 2007 (view all comments by peter in port)
It usually isn't pretty. The details of what happens to a human being as he exits the world is often shielded from us. Dr. Nuland, a world famous Yale trained surgeon, takes a quite literary approach as he explains the medical processes that leads inevitably to the demise of each individual on this planet. The first chapter, in which the author recalls his first attempt, as a 22 year old medical student, to save a patient dying of a massive coronary attack is gripping. So too, is his description of growing up in a tiny Bronx apartment being raised by his ancient Yiddish grandmother. As you will learn from reading the book, the more you deal with death, the less you have to fear from it, though it is seldom pretty or tranquil.
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"Eloquent and uncommonly moving… Nuland writes with unsentimental passion."
by The New York Times Book Review,
"Engrossing….We are in the hands of a remarkable portraitist whose cultivated thought…quietly and informatively instructs and advises us on a subject of universal concern."
by San Francisco Examiner,
"Nuland's work acknowledges, with unmatched clarity, the harsh realities of how life departs….There is compassion, and often wisdom, in every page."
"Nuland combines the clinical eye of a physician with…emotional and philosophical reflectiveness."
In an age when death occurs in sterile seclusion and is cloaked in euphemism and taboo, How We Die is a vital revelation. Clearly, frankly, yet compassionately, it tells us how most of us are likely to die — and in doing so, suggests how we may live more fully and meaningfully. Written by a distinguished surgeon, How We Die succeeds in restoring death to its ancient place in human existence.
New Edition: With a new chapter addressing contemporary issues in end-of-life care
A runaway bestseller and National Book Award winner, Sherwin Nuland's How We Die has become the definitive text on perhaps the single most universal human concern: death. This new edition includes an all-embracing and incisive afterword that examines the current state of health care and our relationship with life as it approaches its terminus. It also discusses how we can take control of our own final days and those of our loved ones.
Shewin Nuland's masterful How We Die is even more relevant than when it was first published.
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