The problem of living well with death is central to many of the quandaries of bioethics, from assisted suicide to organ transplants to embryo research. In confronting these very modern medical dilemmas, we need to recover some ancient wisdom about mortality. By considering some of our culture’s paradigmatic images of the good death—the remembered death of Jacob, the tranquil death of Socrates, the redeemed death of Christ, the opposed death of Franklin, and the crisis of death in Camus’s myth of Sisyphus—Eric Cohen seeks lessons for living well and dying well.
Ethics & Public Policy Center
In Whose Image Shall We Die?
Published in The New Atlantis, Winter 2007 on January 1, 2007