Monday, June 18, 2012


“In a "medicalized" dying death is regarded as the great enemy to be defeated by the greater powers of science and medicine.”
Allen Verhey. The Christian Art of Dying: Learning from Jesus (Kindle Location 107). Kindle Edition. 

The recent book, The Cost of Hope,  Amanda Bennett chronicles the realities of end- of-life care in the United States.   It is a personal memoir of a fascinating, intelligent man written by a caring  and insightful wife.  Their story is not about lack of care but about the “medicalization” of death in our society.  It is an honest and powerful story even in her denial of what was obvious to others.   “Was I insane? Was I outrageous? Not at all, he answers. You were typical.”

Allen Verhey, writing from a perspective of a Christian bioethicist facing a lethal disease, describes the medicalization but also sees another dimension of dying.  He sees “Hope” not in the technology, although he is grateful for it, but in the community of faith and a belief in a larger Christian story.

So how are healing agents to behave in the the context of the medicalized culture?  What is key is our belief about hope and grace.   We must move to another facet of our faith as expressed in the arts.   A wonderful example is the music and images by Jonathan Elias  in the Prayer Cycle.   Here are two selections on “Hope” and “Grace


Bennett, Amanda (2012-06-05). The Cost of Hope: A Memoir (p. 213). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

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