We have seen a rush for human remains before. More than a century ago, anthropologists were eager to assemble collections of skeletons. They were building a science of humanity and needed samples of skulls and bones to determine evolutionary history and define the characteristics of human races

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Jennifer Adaeze Okwerekwu writes, “I was reading a story in the Wall Street Journal, published earlier this week, about how a culture of doctors distrusting patients, and distrusting female patients, allowed Dr. Larry Nassar to abuse athletes in his care over many years”

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David Kroll writes, “In 1984, when I was a junior in college and my sister a junior in high school, my then-44-year-old mother was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. I would have done anything for her then, and continued to do so until she died on Dec. 9, 2017, in her bed at her home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, some 33 years after her initial diagnosis.”

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“Let me do some research, and I’ll get back to you,” my patient said

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Lynn Black’s mother-in-law, who had lupus and lung cancer, was rushed into a hospital intensive care unit last summer with shortness of breath. As she lay in bed, intubated and unresponsive, a parade of doctors told the family “all good news.”

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Leslie Kendall Dye writes, “When my mother was 68, a hemorrhagic stroke claimed her brain, but not her life. She awoke from a coma severely damaged; the bleed instantly razed the landscape of her mind. Dementia soon built a Gothic fun house of distortions where coherent architecture once stood”

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In the Halloween season, American culture briefly participates in an ancient tradition of making the world of the dead visible to the living: Children dress as skeletons, teens go to horror movies and adults play the part of ghosts in haunted houses. But what if the dead played a more active, more participatory role in our daily lives?

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Catherine Sonquist Forest: Aid in dying has been legal in California for a year now. Many of my patients have been waiting for this

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