Modern Way of Death

- June 2, 2023
Are new approaches changing attitudes on mortality?
Photo of three gravestones on Majuro, Marshall Islands, on February 27, 2015. (Getty Images/The Washington Post/Dan Zak)
Modern ways of dealing with death in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom attempt to make it a more accepted and autonomous experience. The death positivity movement seeks to spark a more comprehensive discussion of death as a part of life, while death doulas, nonmedical professionals who look after people as they die, offer compassionate end-of-life care. Individuals also use advance directives to share their wishes for dying and after death.

How did COVID-19 affect the modern death movement?

How have mass death events such as pandemics and wars shifted society's relationship to death and dying?

1700s–1800sFuneral homes begin to emerge in the West.
1900–1990sProfessional medical care becomes the norm as people separate themselves from death.
2000s–2010sCountries begin to legalize euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide; people find renewed intimacy with death.
2020–PresentCOVID-19 pandemic spreads worldwide, impacting funeral practices and perceptions of dying and death.

Should medical assistance in dying include people with severe and persistent mental illnesses?


Udo Schuklenk
Professor of Philosophy and Ontario Research Chair in Bioethics at Queens University.


Jay Slosar
Clinical Psychologist, Find Health Tips and Slosar Consulting, https://www.findhealthtips.com .


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