Death is the universal fact of life; we all have to face it some day. After years of denial, Americans are starting to talk about how they want to die. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, exactly what is a "good death"? Also, what the Supreme Court ruling on physician-assisted suicide really means. And, thoughts on death from a poet-undertaker.
Norman Fost is director of medical ethics at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He talks with Jim Fleming about physician assisted suicide and the new dilemmas created by attempts to legislate phsicians' ethics. Also, Buddhist priest Joan Halifax explains to Steve Paulson how she helps people "be with dying." She says it's impossible to live fully if you can't accept the inevitability of death.SEGMENT 2:
Anthropologist Nigel Barley is Director of the Museum of Mankind at the British Museum and author of "Grave Matters: A Lively History of Death around the World." He tells Steve Paulson that the West's gloomy take on death is the exception and gives colorful examples of death rituals from other cultures - from insulting the bereaved to staging drunken orgies.SEGMENT 3:
Thomas Lynch is a poet, funeral director, and author of "The Undertaking: Life Studies from a Dismal Trade." He tells Judith Strasser that funeral rituals are irrelevant to the dead but crucial for the living, and that people should stop trying to control their lives from beyond the grave and let their survivors make the funeral decisions.
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