How We Die, Reflections on Life's Final Chapter Short Essay - Answer Key

Sherwin B. Nuland
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1. How does the author begin his Introduction? What does he say of the primary avenues leading to death in this section of the book?

In his Introduction, Dr. Nuland presents the idea of the modern death. It is here that he explains there are six primary avenues leading to death. Dr. Nuland expounds that each of these six avenues exhibit similar characteristics and result in processes he considers universal to dying.

2. What are the processes universal to dying described by the author in his Introduction?

The processes that we all experience as we are dying are universal: the stoppage of circulation, the inadequate transport of oxygen to tissues, the flickering out of brain function, the failure of organs, the destruction of vital centers.

3. What does the author write of the “mystery” and “myth” of death in the Introduction?

Dr. Nuland suggests that the mysteries of death are just that, mysteries and myths built up in the reader's own mind. How We Die is this author's attempt to demystify death and the dying process. It is intended for those who are willing to examine what death and dying means to the reader.

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