Read along and listen to audio selections from Sherwin Nuland's book How We Live: the Wisdom of the Body on the value of beauty and the biological underpinnings of spirituality.
Dr. Sherwin Nuland died this week at the age of 83. He became well-known for his first book, How We Die, which won the National Book Award. For him, pondering death was a way of wondering at life — and the infinite variety of processes that maintain human life moment to moment. He reflects on the meaning of life by way of scrupulous and elegant detail about human physiology.
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About the Image
Zoe Middleton poses behind an artwork entitled 'My Soul' by Katharine Dawson, which consists of a laser etched lead chrystal glass formation in the shape of a brain, and was created using the artists own MRI Scan, from an exhibit at the Wellcome Collection in London.
Voices on the Radio
was a clinical professor of surgery at Yale University, where he also taught bioethics and medical history. His books include How We Die, Lost in America, Maimonides, and How We Live: The Wisdom of the Body.
Host/Executive Producer: Krista Tippett
Head of Content: Trent Gilliss
Senior Producer: Lily Percy
Technical Director: Chris Heagle
Associate Producer: Mariah Helgeson
What if we understand death as a developmental stage — like adolescence or mid-life? Dr. Ira Byock is a leading figure in palliative care and hospice in the United States. He says we lose sight of "the remarkable value" of the time of life we call dying if we forget that it's always a personal and human event, and not just a medical one. From his place on this medical frontier, he shares how we can understand dying as a time of learning, repair, and completion of our lives.
Neuroscientist Richard Davidson is revealing that the choices we make can actually “rewire” our brains. He’s studied the brains of meditating Buddhist monks, and now he’s using his research with children and adolescents to look at things like ADHD, autism, and kindness.
The Terri Schiavo case earlier this year raised ethical and medical issues that remain with us today. But missing in that debate was a real attention to the quality and the meaning of death. Joan Halifax tells us what she's learned and how she lives differently after three decades accompanying others to the final boundary of human life.