Posted in Non-Fiction, review

The Way We Die Now – Seamus O’Mahony

“The notion of a ‘good death’ is endlessly debated as something desirable and achievable.”


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Blurb: “We have lost the ability to deal with death.  Most of our friends and beloved relations will die in a busy hospital in the care of strangers, doctors and nurses they have known at best for a couple of weeks. They may not even know they are dying, victims of the kindly lie that there is still hope. They are unlikely to see even their family doctor in their final hours, robbed of their dignity and fed through a tube after a long series of excessive and hopeless medical interventions. This is the starting point of Seamus O’mahony’s thoughtful, moving and unforgettable book on the western way of death.” 

*This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

This week I’m going to be talking about the wonderful, happy topic of… death.
The Way We Die Now is a non-fiction book written by consultant gastro-enterologist Seamus O’Mahony in which he discusses the situations he’s experiences he’s experienced through his work in the medical profession.

What drew me to this book was the idea of how death is perceived in modern day and how some of us choose to face and acknowledge it while others choose to avoid it. He talks about how some family members have forced uncomfortable procedures onto patients in the hopes of prolonging the death of their loved ones, how religion approaches death, and how critics and writers over the years have expressed their thoughts on it.

He offers an insight into the life of someone who sees death almost every day when so many have become “sheltered” from it: which he explores in his discussion of terms such as “passed on” being used to say that someone has died.

However, I struggled to enjoy this book. Not because of the dreary topic, but because it read like a critical essay and the jargon was not something I understood (after finishing the ebook I discovered the glossary at the end so maybe that was fault of my own).

Apart from that, O’Mahony puts across a lot of points that have made me sit back and think about death.
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