Overmedicalizing Death, Underspiritualizing Death, and—Could Death be Enjoyable?

I’ll be leading a session, along with Dr. Grace Dammann, at the Third Annual meeting of the Lown Institute on Tuesday, March 10, 10:30 am, in the Omni Hotel, San Diego. The idea behind our session is this:

Since 1969, when Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross first published her groundbreaking book, On Death and Dying, we’ve come a long way towards making death and dying tolerable. Hospice units and hospice care; palliative medicine; advanced life directives; the concept of non-beneficence. And yet we’re still facing—for ourselves and our patients—an overmedicalized and underspiritualized death. What can we do about that? What’s in the way? For doctors, patients, and families? In institutions and the law? And what can we do to remove these obstructions?

Dying is hard—What can we do to make it easier? What are the next steps, practically, for us to take? Could we ever look forward to Death?


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