Two Things You Need to Live (and Die) Well - Interview with Lydia Dugdale (S1:E1)

Video from Veritas Forum

"Is death a threat to living well? No, says our guest Dr. Lydia Dugdale, who is a Columbia Medical doctor, a medical ethicist, and author of The Lost Art of Dying. She says that living well requires dying well. Listen to our conversation with Dr. Lydia Dugdale on BEYOND THE FORUM here on YouTube or wherever you listen to podcasts. And don’t forget to subscribe and share on social media–and please tag us @veritasforum! You can see our full slate of speakers for our first season and learn more about us at" from video introduction.

If you have not considered your mortality today you should. Today could be your last day in this life. What relationships need to be mended, forgiveness, apologies? Pray, confess your sins and repent, NOW is the time! - Andy

Video from Veritas Forum

The Lost Art of Dying by Dr. Lydia Dugdale (link)

"Benjamin Franklin once said that the only things certain in this world are death and taxes. One could argue, however, that we live as though taxes are a given and death is an option. Why is this? Why is it that something like taxes, a human construct, are an unquestioned certainty, while unavoidable death is not?

Despite death’s inevitability, it is entirely human to possess a strong desire to live. This has enabled human beings to accomplish fantastic feats and beat insurmountable odds. Modern medicine is certainly among one of the greatest of these accomplishments. Diseases that were once catalysts for major epidemics have been forgotten. Even cancer has been somewhat tamed through the development of treatments and preventative measures for many of its forms. While developments such as these are noteworthy, they have also enabled us to push death further and further from our collective consciousness. Before many of the achievements of modern medicine, the care of the sick and dying was the domain of the clergy, family members, and friends. Dying was truly a community affair.

In her new book entitled “Dying in the Twenty-First Century: Toward a New Ethical Framework for the Art of Dying Well”, Dr. Lydia Dugdale, an internal medicine doctor and assistant professor of medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, starts from the premise that our determination to live longer and healthier has meant that we have also forgotten how to die. With more people dying in hospitals, often in the intensive care unit, death has become hidden from view. In the opening pages of her book Dr. Dugdale recounts how the outbreak of the Bubonic Plague in fourteenth-century Europe precipitated the creation of the Ars Moriendi, known as the Art of Dying, a body of literature on the preparation for death. In response to a devastating loss of life from the Plague, the church recognized that there were not enough clergy members to attend to every dying person and therefore created a handbook that would enable lay persons to assist in the art of dying. While the Catholic Church was responsible for the first edition of the Ars Moriendi, various Protestant and other denominations, subsequently tailored this guide to fit their own needs. The Ars Moriendi tradition of helping one’s community members to die well continued for several hundred years. However, subsequent events, including the American Civil War, scientific advance, and the increasing proliferation of hospitals with their intensive care units, ushered in a new way of approaching death. Over the years more and more people have died in hospitals removed from family and friends and from society’s view. In an edited volume that includes contributions from other noted physicians and scholars such as Farr Curlin, MD., Daniel P. Sulmasy, MD., Lisa Sowle Cahill, PhD., John Lantos, MD and others, Dr. Dugdale takes the reader through the evolution and subsequent devolution of the Ars Moriendi and suggests ways in which we as a society can move toward creating a modern Ars Moriendi, one that acknowledges the plurality of present-day culture without neglecting our common mortality..." from the article: The Art of Dying Well: An Interview with Dr. Lydia Dugdale

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