Death. Not necessarily something we think about every day, but something that is always looming in the background. Why did I pick up a book about death? I’m not sure I can really tell you. Maybe the cover was pleasing or I wanted to know what was inside the pages.
The Way We Die Now looks at death from a medical stand point, but in the way you think it’s going to be. Seamus O’Mahony is an Irish doctor who has worked both in Ireland and the UK. In this book he looks at death through the eyes of a doctor, a relative of the dying, and his own future death.
Medicine has changed the way people used to die. It was usually a quiet affair at home where the individual knew they were going to die and brought family and friends over and eventually died with dignity. With modern medicine, the dying can go quite violently through CPR or being tubed. The lengths relatives go to keep loved ones alive really may not be the best thing for the dying individual. Some pass in a medically induced, unconscious state. Others with pain from trying to be revived.
O’Mahony even takes a look at the possible future of modern medicine in relation to death and the outcomes seem very disturbing. Who really wants to live forever? In reality, we have become afraid of death. Death was viewed as inevitable and will happen to one eventually. Now, people are afraid of death and it’s almost taboo to talk about.
This book may not be the best book to read cozied up by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate, but it was an interesting read. I have a different perspective of death and my reaction to modern medicine when that time inevitably comes to me and my family. I recommend reading it, just so you know the options/consequences for yourself/relative.