by Daniel Callahan, 272 pp, $21, ISBN 0-671-70830-9, New York, NY, Simon & Schuster, 1993.
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This must have been a difficult book to write. It certainly was difficult to begin to read, but once started it flowed easily. The subject of getting a perspective on how one may best understand and live with the knowledge of one's mortality is among the most difficult issues to tackle. Callahan does the job well and is well qualified to take on such a task. He is director and cofounder of the Hastings Center and the author of two other books. He is well informed about the status of medical advances, is a well-known philosopher and ethicist, and is clearly a thoughtful and considerate person who writes simply and well.
The book tackles the issue of why the termination of treatment and the care of the dying have continued to be stormy issues despite intense reform efforts. Callahan gives us a historical view of dying and why death prior
Levy NB. The Troubled Dream of Life: Living With Mortality. JAMA. 1995;273(8):677-678. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520320087054