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Spring 2021 Advisory

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The Lost Art of Dying: Ethical Considerations in Facing our Mortality

Never in our lifetimes has sickness and death been brought into view as it has during the COVID-19 pandemic. How are we to make sense of human finitude? A six hundred-year-old book provides an answer. In the wake of western Europe’s bubonic plague outbreak of the 1350s, a text was published offering advice to help the living prepare for a good death. The Ars Moriendi — or Art of Dying — made clear that to die well, one first had to live well. What moral issues does it raise for us today?


For questions, please contact Sameer Ladha, Deputy Academic Director, M.S. in Bioethics Program, at shl2159 [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu or sps-events [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu.