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Book review: The Way We Die Now by Seamus O’Mahony

By Alex Dean   July 2016

c53d91d194c9844afbf7d9e8d15eae83Head of Zeus, £14.99

Dying has lost its dignity. This is the claim made by Irish doctor Seamus O’Mahony in The Way We Die Now. O’Mahony argues that we have over-medicalised death—that we punish terminally ill patients with degrading and, in many cases, pointless attempts to prolong their lives. We should instead, he argues, accept death’s inevitability and leave life in an atmosphere of calm acceptance.

Mahony’s account of how this “sanitisation” of death has happened is complicated. His main argument is that it originates in our increased anxiety around death, which has…

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