How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter

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Vintage Books, 1995 - Social Science - 278 pages
Attempting to demythologize the process of dying, Nuland explores how we shall die, each of us in a way that will be unique. Through particular stories of dying--of patients, and of his own family--he examines the seven most common roads to death: old age, cancer, AIDS, Alzheimer's, accidents, heart disease, and strokes, revealing the facets of death's multiplicity.

"It's impossible to read How We Die without realizing how earnestly we have avoided this most unavoidable of subjects, how we have protected ourselves by building a cultural wall of myths and lies. I don't know of any writer or scientist who has shown us the face of death as clearly, honestly and compassionately as Sherwin Nuland does here."--James Gleick
 

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Tenacity cannot be taught! It is a skill indicative of what a physician must be (having ability to impart life or death in seconds) to wield a knife, put in a central line or even slicing skin on humble, poor and forgotten patients in the grips economic hell. Dr. Sherwin Nuland instructs us in "How We Die" and covers seven diseases in this regard.
Dr. Sherwin Nuland's description of Heart attack as "failure of a Valentine" was literary martini with olive on toothpick. In this book journey he dictates process of observing a friend in the process of dying and using his tools of kindness, compassion and observation for a decent end of life experience.
Death is a natural and inevitable conclusion creeping up on both the healthy and morbidly compromised patients. This book lays bare many end of life "options" and it's ability to impart clement solutions to a five-letter word that causes most anxiety ubiquitously. Buy, absorb and plan---while smiling, living and not in a surgical theatre with no advance directive or help.
 

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I Have read this book,twice over and believe it's a must read.People can learn great things about the way people die,especially if,they are in the medical and/or caring community.

Contents

A Valentineand How It Fails
20
Three Score and Ten
43
Doors to Death of the Aged
64
Alzheimefs Disease
89
Murder and Serenity
118
Accidents Suicide and Euthanasia
140
A Story of AIDS
163
The Life of a Virus and the Death of a Man
180
The Malevolence of Cancer
202
Hope and the Cancer Patient
222
The Lessons Learned
242
Epilogue
263
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About the author (1995)

Sherwin B. Nuland, MD, was Clinical Professor of Surgery at Yale University until his retirement in 2009, though he continues to teach Biomedical Ethics and Medical History to Yale undergraduates, and serve the university in various capacities.  He won the National Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Book Critics Circle Award when this book was initially published.  In hardcover and paperback,How We Diewas on theNew York Timesbestseller list for a total of thirty-four weeks, and has been translated into twenty-nine languages.  Dr. Nuland and his family live in Connecticut.

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