- Popular Science
The extraordinary investigation into our relationship with death from ancient burial grounds to dying in the modern medical-industrial complex.
Nothing is more certain in life than death. Yet recent advances in medicine and technology have dramatically increased our life expectancy, and everything about when, where, how and why we die has changed. The result is that dying is today a more prolonged and harrowing experience than ever before.
In Modern Death, the physician and clinical researcher Haider Warraich draws on his expert personal experience as well as on history, culture, theology and legal theory, to tackle important ethical questions that go right to the heart of what it is to be human. He reveals what dying really means in today’s medical industrial complex, discusses the ethics of patient proxies, living wills and the right to die, and argues in favour of giving terminally ill patients the right to physician-assisted death.
Written by an insightful, new voice in the conversation about death and dying, Modern Death is a heartfelt and inspiring book offering an unabashedly honest perspective, exploring how we can and must do better by the ones we love.
‘Elegant and poignant… takes us on an unforgettable journey and gives us remarkable insights about the changing nature of modern death’ Siddhartha Mukherjee, bestselling author of The Gene and The Emperor of All Maladies
‘I devoured it in one sitting... I've never had a better time reading a book about death’ Katy Butler, New York Times bestselling author of Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death
‘A much-needed exploration of this treacherous territory’ Danielle Ofri, author of What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear
'There is much to admire in Warraich’s book – its scale and ambition, the assiduous research evident throughout. He draws upon his personal experience as a clinician as well as medical history, theology and ethics to examine not only how we die but also how medical and social developments are impacting on death, finding much of it troubling... There are no easy answers here, but Warraich is refreshingly honest' The Scotsman
‘A rich book… examining everything from the death of a cell to the impact of death on society’ Nature
‘Sensitively grapples with the changing cultural landscape surrounding the end of life… filled with compassionate accounts of the different ways he has witnessed people meet death in the modern age’ Scientific American
‘Supplements medical history with tales from the life-death border that are disturbing, bewildering, and inspiring’ Psychology Today
‘Melding the curiosity of a historian, the discernment of a physician, and the soulfulness of a poet, Warraich provides us a stunning portrait of death in our moment’ Dr Rafael Campo, Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School
'Dr. Haider Warraich has written an extraordinarily informative and reflective book, deftly balancing historical facts, statistics, humanism and masterful story telling...It is a gem, one I shall treasure and share with many' Sanjiv Chopra, Bestselling Author of Live Better, Live Longer