How We Die

March 30, 2015


Recent stories on death and dying offer interesting perspectives on discussing, preparing for and coping with an inevitable part of all of our lives.




PBS Newshour introduced its recent coverage by referring to “(a) growing national movement to normalize end-of-life discussions among family and friends has gained traction in recent months.”




An additional batch of recent stories seems to support their claim.


Kaiser Health News published a story “Hoping To Live, These Doctors Want A Choice In How They Die” reporting on doctors who have joined a California lawsuit “seeking to let doctors prescribe lethal medications to certain patients who want to hasten death”.



In the New York Times, “Teenagers Face Early Death, On Their Terms” a story with a video, followed young people with facing life-threatening diseases and efforts to prepare them and their loved ones for adolescent deaths.



Finally, also in the the New York Times, NPR’s Scott Simon contributed an essay reflecting on his experiences in sending sometimes funny, often poignant and much-discussed tweets while with his mother as she lived out her final hours in a hospital bed. In “Tweeting Mom’s Goodbye“, Simon recounts the encouragement and comfort that he and his mother had received from people around the world in what he describes as his mother’s “digital ovation”. He also  noted how just a few readers expressed discomfort with tweets. Interestingly, Simon compares Twitter to “the 21st-century equivalent of a papyrus scroll or a folk ballad: scraps of our lives that we share with the larger world.”



Here’s hoping these essential conversations continue.

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Alan Regenberg

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