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How We Die: Reflections of Life's Final Chapter, New Edition (Anglais) Broché – 15 janvier 1995

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"Eloquent and uncommonly moving… Nuland writes with unsentimental passion."- Time

"Engrossing… We are in the hands of a remarkable portraitist whose cultivated thought… quietly and informatively instructs and advises us on a subject of universal concern."- The New York Times Book Review

"Nuland's work acknowledges, with unmatched clarity, the harsh realities of how life departs… There is compassion, and often wisdom, in every page."- San Francisco Examiner

"Nuland combines the clinical eye of a physician with… emotional and philosophical reflectiveness."- Newsday

Présentation de l'éditeur

New Edition: With a new chapter addressing contemporary issues in end-of-life care

A runaway bestseller and National Book Award winner, Sherwin Nuland's How We Die has become the definitive text on perhaps the single most universal human concern: death.  This new edition includes an all-embracing and incisive afterword that examines the current state of health care and our relationship with life as it approaches its terminus.  It also discusses how we can take control of our own final days and those of our loved ones.

Shewin Nuland's masterful How We Die is even more relevant than when it was first published.

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595 internautes sur 604 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Death comes to all; it's how you live that matters. 11 juillet 2000
Par Duwayne Anderson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Humans are probably the only animals capable of understanding their mortality and envisioning the day of their death. Sherwin B. Nuland shows, however, that while we conceptualize our eventual demise, most people have unrealistic expectations of their death. Misconceptions abound. The expectation of a noble death with loved ones gathered, final farewells, and then eternal slumber forms a common though inaccurate mental image of what many people look forward to in their final moments.
There are several themes that permeate Nuland's books. One theme is that death, like birth, is a messy process. Though we may wish for the noble death, more likely we will die slowly from a lack of oxygen in the brain. This, in turn, will result from a failing heart, lungs, or blood vessels. Death does not come easy, and although the final moment is sometime serene and tranquil, months or weeks of painful physical degeneration often precedes it.
The second theme in Nuland's book is that death is not only inevitable, it is necessary. While life should be fought for as long as possible, we should all realize that ultimately the battle will be lost. We will die. Nuland takes a dim view of heroic attempts to extend life beyond the point where the body has simply failed and death becomes not only inevitable, but also the proper way for nature to renew herself. Nature uses death to clear the way for new generations, and just as we cannot experience the green buds of spring unless the leaves from last season fall to the ground, the very nature of life demands that when death becomes inevitable we exit the stage for the next generation.
Nuland's third point is that the measure of a life is not found so much in how we die, but in how we live and how we are remembered. Few of us can control the way in which we die. For some of us it will be quick, for others death will linger and the process will be slow and painful. Some will find humiliation in the loss of bodily functions or mental facilities. However it comes to anyone of us, death is just a part of our lives and the real meaning in death is in the life remembered.
Chapters 1 and 2 focus on the heart, how and why it fails, and what are the consequences in terms of how death is precipitated. These chapters include some personal stories, but are mostly factual in nature. They make fascinating reading for anyone interested in how the body works, as well as those interested in death itself.
Chapter 3 is one of the most poignant and describes the author's personal experiences in the life and death of his Grandmother who raised him after his parents died when he was eleven. Nuland is a medical doctor, and he describes the deaths of many people in his book, including the death of his Grandmother and his brother. All these descriptions are stark. There is no attempt to cover up the messiness of death, yet the stories are told with such deep compassion and understanding of the human condition and suffering that they bring a deep upwelling in the soul.
Chapter 4 basically outlines Nuland's view that "Among living creatures, to die and leave the stage is the way of nature - old age is the preparation for departure, the gradual easing out of life that makes its ending more palatable not only for the elderly but for those also to whom they leave the world in trust."
Chapter 5 describes Alzheimer's disease, and is one of the most interesting chapters in the book. This book includes some of the history of Alzheimer's disease, how the disease manifests itself, and how it kills. Like many other topics in his book, Nuland illustrates the subject by describing the process of degeneration and death due to this disease through his personal experiences with individuals he knew.
The sixth chapter, titled "Murder and Scerenity," was difficult for me. It contains a vivid description of the death of a little girl by a knife-wielding maniac. The subject of the chapter is how the body produces chemicals that place it in a type of trance when under tremendous stress. The story of little Katie is very poignant. I hardly ever cry, but I did as I read of the way she died. Interestingly, though, I think that understanding the physiology described in this chapter can be a source of solace even for those who have lost loved ones through violent tragedy.
Chapter 7 discusses suicide and euthanasia. Nuland seems to take a dim view of suicide as promoted by some organizations, but he seems to hold open the possibility of doctors taking a more active roll in the final moments of death as patients ask for help in the process. This chapter brought some personal reflection to me, since I'm from Oregon. I voted with the majority of my fellow citizens to allow doctors to help their patients end their suffering (Oregon's law has abundant safeguards and cannot result in euthanasia or death for monetary relief). Ultimately, though, our voices could be rejected. Interestingly, Gordon Smith, a Senator from Oregon, has proven fundamental in overriding the Oregon voters on this issue.
Chapters 8 and 9 review the story of aids and how that disease kills it victims, while chapters 10 and 11 describe death by cancer. Chapter 12 summarizes, and leaves the reader contemplating the fact that it's all but certain we will each die by one or more of the processes described in Nuland's book. How we die, and how we will be remembered, however, are entirely up to each of us as individuals
188 internautes sur 191 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Don't be afraid to read this book 8 février 2000
Par Toller Girl - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I'm not sure what made me read "How We Die". It just appeared on my reader's radar a couple of years ago. First let me say that what I came away with was a profound sense of the awesomeness of human life and death, especially the awesomeness of physical death. The author explains in careful and graphic detail what happens to the body's systems under various scenarios that eventually result in the inevitable death of the body. Strangely, this information was more embracing and empowering than depressing and sad. Somehow, the knowledge of WHAT really happens when we die frees me to move on to HOW I feel about it and how I can deal with it. For me, the book stripped much of the power from various traditional, political, religous, legal, societal, and familial interpretations of this event, and allowed me to start to think it through for myself. Long after I finished the book, I found myself reflecting on the information presented by the author, and more importantly, digging deeply into my own psyche and soul to uncover what I really feel and believe. When my father died last year, I felt able to observe and participate in the process with less fear and dread, and more of a sense of power than if I had never read the book. While the events and circumstance of his illness and eventual death were extremely sad and difficult, I credit this book (and the mental and emotional effort I put into reading and reflecting on it) with allowing me to accept the fact that my father was going to die, and to deal with everything that had to be dealt with. Thank you, Dr. Nuland.
176 internautes sur 185 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Frank yet compassionate book about death & dying. 23 mars 2002
Par David J. Gannon - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
What actually happens during "clinical death"? Why do we age, and what happens to the body? This National Book Award winner Particularly recommended for anyone in a position to explain these difficult processes to others. This award-winning account describes in frank yet compassionate detail just what most of us are likely to face when the time comes, Sherwin B. Nuland's How We Die combines erudition and eloquence in a refreshingly unsentimental look at the processes of death. A distinguished surgeon and gifted writer, Nuland illuminates the mechanisms of cancer, heart attack, AIDS, and Alzheimer's disease with precision and compassionate awareness.
Why read such a book? Taking away the fear of the unknown can bring courage and peace in the face of a difficult time. This book presents unpleasant facts in simple language that anyone can understand.
Chapters cover different types of death, making clear the physiological changes and medical choices that go along with each one. It addresses both medical and emotional realities of common conditions such as cancer, heart disease, AIDS, Alzheimer's, severe trauma, and just plain wearing out. (Be prepared to cry, since reading this book may make you experience feelings associated with people you love.)
What makes this book such compelling reading is that Nuland brings to this subject all of the depth and breadth of his background AND his deep concern for the human condition. His long career at a high-powered academic medical center (Yale), his knowledge of the history of medicine, of literature and philosophy, and his own personal losses are all woven into his thesis. He is thus highly convincing when he criticizes physicians for becoming seduced by the intellectual challenge of solving "The Riddle" and making recommendations not in the best interests of the patient/family.
But the power of the book is in its intensely personal depiction of these events and in the lessons which Nuland draws from his experiences. The message is twofold: very few will "die with dignity" so that (1) it behooves us to lead a productive LIFE of dignity, (2) physicians, patients, and families should behave appropriately to allow nature to take its course instead of treating death as the enemy to be staved off at any cost. Only then will it be possible for us to die in the "best" possible way--in relative comfort, in the company of those we love/who love us.
A "must read" for those of us in the baby-boomer generation who, unfortunately, are going to have to deal with a lot of what's covered in this book over the remainder of our lives.
27 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
No exceptions 27 septembre 2005
Par Shalom Freedman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This is a sane and sensible treatment of a most painful subject. Nuland is not only a physician and writer, he is a compassionate human being and an educator. He aims in this work to teach us how to prepare for the inevitable, how to better understand how to deal with death when it comes.

As he understands it there is a tendency to romanticize the final moments, to imagine the end of the drama is a kind of bedside scene in which family and friends gather to say farewell to one who peacefully slips off. Nuland would disabuse us of that notion and teach that Death is ordinarily more messy prolonged and complicated than we would like. And that it often comes only through the deprivation of the dignity of the suffering patient.

He emphasizes that our human goal should be not to focus overmuch on the death of the person, but rather on their life and its remembrance.

He examines the major causes of death, Old Age, Cancer, Heart Disease, Trauma, Aids, Alzheimers. He gives us moving case - histories one of his own grandmother's passing from the world, the other of a young child suddenly killed. He underlines the point that no matter how healthy the person thinks they are they can never know when and how Death will come. No one has a guarantee of an easy way out.

He does not really touch upon any religious or spiritual consolation. And though he indicates that he did say the Jewish prayer of mourning Kaddish for his mother he gives no indication that he believes in an afterlife. "If there is a God," he says, "He is present as much in the creation of each of us as He was at the creation of the earth".

He again would have us focus on life. And so he warns against those who would struggle at any and all costs to artificially extend life through heroic measures i.e. he urges an acceptance of Death as inevitable and necessary. He on the other side he is in general against giving patients' the right to take their

own lives.

This work may tell some more than they ever want to know about death, and may help others better prepare for it.

The late William Saroyan on his deathbed was seen shaking his head. When he was asked what it is , he said," I knew everybody had to die , but in my case I thought they would make an exception'

They did not.

For each and every one of us one of the most chilling facts of life is that we too will not be an exception.

And as I write this I write it with a certain fear and a prayer to God for help.
29 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Wise and Gentle Doctor On Death 25 septembre 2001
Par Leigh A. Merryday - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I came across this book by accident, yet I read it in one sitting. It is a book I believe everyone should read. Dr. Nuland takes the reader on a journey through the physical aspects of life's greatest mystery -- death. One would think that the topic of this book would render the reader sad or anxious. Instead, one finishes with a sense of comfort. Dr. Nuland allows us to see through his eyes (and his patients) what we fear most. By addressing this fear in clear scientific terms, as well as the inherent emotional and spiritual ones, we are allowed to face our fears and come to a calm understanding of what will happen to us all. Dr. Nuland dispels many myths surrounding how we SHOULD die and relates quite simply how we DO die. He discusses the current trends in planned death and explains that death usually is quite out of our control. The fact that it is out of control is what is oddly comforting. What we cannot control, we worry the least about.
I left this wonderful book with a new understanding of my own mortality, as well as the deaths of those who have gone before me. I cannot recommend this book too highly.
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