... she guides readers toward taking a holistic approach to this final stage by accepting the finitude of life, developing meaningful rituals, and involving their communities in end-of-life care ... A readable and inspiring manual for living one's days fully and dying well.
In this probing analysis, Dugdale...director of Columbia University’s Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, considers how to change the current 'death-denying' culture to help readers become more comfortable with death. She challenges the assumptions and habits that lead to a preponderance of medicalized hospital deaths, calling for a personal acceptance of mortality and a revival of community support for the dying, particularly support of those who would otherwise die alone. Sparing no details, Dugdale pulls readers into the ethical conundrums that doctors face with a gripping story of the night she resuscitated an elderly man three times before he died, following the wishes of his children to spare him more pain ... This illuminating and thought-provoking book will convince many readers to reexamine their assumptions about death and dying.
Throughout the book, Dugdale balances her clinical experience with an openly holistic mindfulness, and she thoughtfully expands on the relevant lessons of ars moriendi: acknowledging our human finitude, or what it means to be mortal; embracing a meaningful community; facing a fear of death; and giving consideration to the decision of whether to die at home or in a hospital or other setting. A wise and reassuring guide for confronting death.