In this groundbreaking book, Anita Hannig brings us into the lives of ordinary Americans who go to extraordinary lengths to set the terms of their own death. Faced with a terminal diagnosis and unbearable suffering, they decide to seek medical assistance in dying—a legal option now available to one in five Americans.
Drawing on five years of research on the frontlines of assisted dying, Hannig unearths the uniquely personal narratives masked by a polarized national debate. Among them are Ken, a ninety-year-old blues musician who invites his family to his death, dons his best clothes, and goes out singing; Derianna, a retired nurse and midwife who treks through Oregon and Washington to guide dying patients across life's threshold; and Bruce, a scrappy activist with Parkinson's disease who fights to expand access to the law, not knowing he would soon, in an unexpected twist of fate, become eligible himself.
The Day I Die tackles one of the most urgent social issues of our time: how to restore dignity and meaning to the dying process in the age of high-tech medicine. Meticulously researched and compassionately rendered, the book exposes the legal restrictions, barriers to access, and corrosive cultural stigma that can undermine someone's quest for an assisted death—and why they persist in achieving the departure they desire.
Download and start listening now!
“Challenges conventional story lines of another favorite American theme: capitalism and the accumulation of vast wealth…[with] intriguing insights into the hidden roles played by subservient women.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune