How Brittany Maynard Forced Us To Look At Death
End Of Life Issues - What Constitutes Quality of Life? Who Decides?
By Daniel Burke, CNN
updated 4:40 AM EST, Sat November 8, 2014
(CNN) -- For something that surrounds us so completely, bookending our lives, modern Americans can be surprisingly shy about death.
Yes, we talk about "deaths" -- heinous deaths, tragic deaths, celebrity deaths, untimely deaths.
But when it comes to death itself, many of us would rather use the broom of wishful thinking to sweep it away, leaving death to sit in some dark corner of our minds. Woody Allen best summed up that sentiment when he said, "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying."
For much of human history, religious rituals forced believers regularly to confront our ultimate fate.
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On Rosh Hashanah, according to Jewish tradition, God decides who will live or die during the next year. The Buddha urged monks to meditate on the decay of corpses. Millions of Catholics pray each week for Christ to come again and resurrect the dead.
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