- Popular Science
The extraordinary investigation into our relationship with death from ancient burial grounds to dying in the modern medical-industrial complex
The deaths we die cannot be truly modern until we start having calm, educated conversations about it in classrooms, bars, restaurants and, of course, in the clinic.
There is nothing more certain in life than death. But the mechanics and our understanding of dying have changed drastically: scientific advances have dramatically increased life expectancy, leading many of us to become detached from the reality of being mortal. Even the very ethos of death has changed. In Modern Death, Warraich explores the process, rituals and language of dying, and reveals how modern technology has changed not only how, when and where we die, but also what death means to us.
As a physician and clinical researcher, Warraich knows the business of dying better than most. Using personal experience, literature, theology and legal theory, he reveals that dying is now a more harrowing and prolonged process than ever before, arguing that society has to do more to guarantee patients a ‘good’ death. He also discusses the ethics of patient proxies, living wills and the right to die – all firmly at the core of the debate today, as an overwhelming majority succumb to heart disease and cancer in hospitals and nursing homes.
Warraich is a young and brilliant new voice in the conversation about death and dying, and Modern Death is a heartfelt, insightful and unabashedly honest book about death and how we can do better by the ones we love.
‘Warraich's elegant and poignant book takes us on an unforgettable journey… gives us remarkable insights about the changing nature of modern death’ Siddhartha Mukherjee, New York Times 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