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How We Die: Reflections of Life's Final Chapter, New Edition Paperback – January 15, 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
There are several themes that permeate Nuland's books. One theme is that death, like birth, is a messy process. Though we may wish for the noble death, more likely we will die slowly from a lack of oxygen in the brain. This, in turn, will result from a failing heart, lungs, or blood vessels. Death does not come easy, and although the final moment is sometime serene and tranquil, months or weeks of painful physical degeneration often precedes it.
The second theme in Nuland's book is that death is not only inevitable, it is necessary. While life should be fought for as long as possible, we should all realize that ultimately the battle will be lost. We will die. Nuland takes a dim view of heroic attempts to extend life beyond the point where the body has simply failed and death becomes not only inevitable, but also the proper way for nature to renew herself. Nature uses death to clear the way for new generations, and just as we cannot experience the green buds of spring unless the leaves from last season fall to the ground, the very nature of life demands that when death becomes inevitable we exit the stage for the next generation.
Nuland's third point is that the measure of a life is not found so much in how we die, but in how we live and how we are remembered.Read more ›
Why read such a book? Taking away the fear of the unknown can bring courage and peace in the face of a difficult time. This book presents unpleasant facts in simple language that anyone can understand.
Chapters cover different types of death, making clear the physiological changes and medical choices that go along with each one. It addresses both medical and emotional realities of common conditions such as cancer, heart disease, AIDS, Alzheimer's, severe trauma, and just plain wearing out. (Be prepared to cry, since reading this book may make you experience feelings associated with people you love.)
What makes this book such compelling reading is that Nuland brings to this subject all of the depth and breadth of his background AND his deep concern for the human condition. His long career at a high-powered academic medical center (Yale), his knowledge of the history of medicine, of literature and philosophy, and his own personal losses are all woven into his thesis.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This the only author who maintains that muscle cramps from exercise kill muscle cells, just like heart attacks kill heart muscle cells. I did not find confirmation anywhere else. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Tintin
Read in quick succession with "Feathers in the Dust: A Hospice Doctor's Tale". This one seems to be in love with death and unsparing about the indignities almost all of... Read morePublished 19 days ago by D&D
The title is misleading and disappointing. I expected philosophical thoughts on end of life issues but instead got a boring litany of the diseases that kill us, and we all are... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Blue Bird
A must read book for everyone. Written well for average people to understand. We study and try to understand all manner of things...why not understand how our own body works... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Barb Ky
Considering the subject, this isn't the easiest book to read, but it's certainly one of the best. By easiest, I don't mean that it's difficult to understand, it's just very hard... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Expressed Reviews
Been wanting to check this book out for a long time. It's great, but I wish they had an unabridged version as reading along while listening can be confusing, but still great.Published 1 month ago by Mary Le