The good death has increasingly become a myth. Actually, it has always been for the most part a myth, but never nearly as much as today. The chief ingredient of the myth is the longed-for ideal of ‘death with dignity.’
Dr. Sherwin Nuland, author of How We Die
How We Die was written at a time when the prevailing medical practice was to use all means available to extend the life of terminally ill patients for as long as possible, even if aggressive treatment also caused extended suffering in the final days of life. Nuland’s book made an impact on the national debate about end-of-life care, at a time when palliative care and the hospice movement were beginning to assume a bigger role in the care of terminally ill patients.