Human Exceptionalism

Ira Byock: “How to Die”

I did a radio show on WASU in Wisconsin this morning and we focused primarily on hospice care. The call-in response was strong: People were clearly interested and concerned.

Then, when I checked my e-mail, I a link to a video about “how to die,” by my friend, the hospice physician and medical professor Ira Byock. Byock is a pioneer in treating patients with terminal illnesses. His book Dying Well is a must read for people facing the end of life. In this short video, Byock discusses issues that are important to people who are dying at this important time. Interestingly, there are responses by the courageous Ayaan Hirshi Ali of the AEI–the atheist former Muslim who is under death threat from jihadis, who–tying in our earlier discussion about how the reality of death focuses us and helps us live a better life–states that the threats against her have “paradoxically” helped her live better and more meaningfully.

The other responder is Pastor Rick Warren, who, unlike Ali is not an atheist, also responds, discussing how one confronts death is a test of what you personally believe, and that how faith in God and life afterwards provides great comfort.

Very interesting.

HT: John B.

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