Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Good Death by Ann Neumann, reviewed.

 "Neumann, a journalist, begins her book lamenting her father’s death, as well as its location: in a hospice facility instead of at home, despite his wishes and her best efforts. Her grief and regret eventually prompt her to study how Americans deal with the end of life and how it could be better, exploring the religious, legal, and medical institutions that influence and restrict us. At the heart of her book is the difficult question of what makes for a “good” death. Neumann says this is particular to the individual, but at the very least, a good death is characterized by acceptance rather than denial, with a minimum of pain and suffering. To that end, she writes sympathetically about assisted suicide, suggesting that, as an antidote to the prevailing exhortation that the fatally ill “not go gentle into that good night,” we “calculate pain and suffering into the costs of futile care.” Over and over, Neumann hammers home the barriers that prevent dying people from getting what they want. "

Review of The Good Death by Ann Neumann in Slate

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