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“[We] believe that by hiding death and dying behind closed doors we do more harm than good to our society.”
—Order of the Good Death
Most Americans are uncomfortable talking about death. Unfortunately, this means that most American doctors and patients are ill-equipped to deal with end-of-life issues. In a necessary and surprisingly lively conversation, mortician Caitlin Doughty and medical historian Lindsey Fitzharris—leading figures of a new death-positive movement—will address American death denial, its impact on healthcare, and how we can improve the experience of death and dying, from understanding anatomy to advance directives.
Mortician Caitlin Doughty is the author of the New York Times best seller Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory, which chronicles how witnessing death denial firsthand inspired her to become an activist for more and better conversations around mortality. Lindsey Fitzharris’s forthcoming book, The Butchering Art, gives a glimpse into the frequently fatal world of pre-anesthesia surgery and explains how this heritage informs medicine today. Megan Rosenbloom (moderator) is a USC medical librarian and the director of Death Salon. All three are members of the death-acceptance organization Order of the Good Death.