Modern medicine makes it difficult to die. Often, treatment seems to prolong not living so much as dying. With no earthly hope, Regan was spared all this.
Before her recent death with the assistance of a prescription of barbiturates, Brittany Maynard, who was terminally ill, made public her hopes that this would be a watershed moment for the movement to make choices such as hers legal in all of the U.S. I can understand some of the reasoning of that campaign, even if I don’t agree with it.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Letters and Papers from Prison comes under the category of “Books to Be Read on an Annual Basis”—like Augustine’s Confessions, King Lear, or anything by Flannery O’Connor. In general, we read too many books and return to too few.
The emphasis on patients' rights and autonomy has been a weak remedy for medicalized death.