Atul Gawande’s ‘Being Mortal': Why We Need To Start Talking About Death Again

Whether you call it “assisted suicide” or “death with dignity,” stories about people choosing to die on their own terms have been making the news.

Take Brittany Maynard for example, the 29-year-old who moved to Oregon — one of the few states where legal, physician-assisted suicide is available to the terminally ill — where she ended her battle with brain cancer this weekend. Or take Ezekiel J. Emmanuel, a man in his fifties in reasonably good health who nonetheless says he hopes to to die by 75.

Emmanuel insists he isn’t “talking about waking up one morning 18 years from now and ending my life through euthanasia or suicide,” both of which he more or less opposes; he’s hoping to die by that age to avoid years of discomfort, when he imagines he will no longer feel his life to be worth living.

Right now, there is no prominent mind suggesting that adults should have the right to choose whether or not to be alive. (The Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution doesn’t guarantee a right to suicide, in 1997.) If you are looking for a powerful voice to take up Maynard’s mantle and argue for legal —> Read More Here


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