A Better Way of Death

September 13th, 2013

When we speak of death and sickness, it is often as if we are engaged in the language of war.  We are battling, fighting, staving off.  Perhaps we'd be better to think of it in language from the 17th Century poet John Donne, in “Death Be Not Proud.” 

That might help us to understand a different language of death, but it was all before the advent of the medical/industrial complex. The ways in which the forces of medicine stand in the way of a “meaningful death.”

That’s the world that journalist Katie Butler writes about in Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death.  Her story, in the NY Times Magazine, about her father's death, was one of the most commented upon articles in the history of the Magazine.

My conversation with Katie Butler: