Understanding Death
3:10 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Remembering Dr. Sherwin Nuland, Author of "How We Die"

Dr. Sherwin Nuland.
Dr. Sherwin Nuland.

Best-selling author Dr. Sherwin Nuland has died. His 1994 book, How We Die, took on the medical establishment and its unwinnable fight with death. 

How We Die describes the messy, often harrowing process of dying. 

Speaking last year on WNPR's The Faith Middleton Show, Nuland, a surgeon and medical historian, called on doctors to think more about care and less about cure. He said, "Life, in itself, is an incurable condition. What we really need to do is something we've never done in this country, and that's turn our attention to preventive medicine and public health."

How We Die sparked a national debate over assisted suicide, and was a 1994 National Book Award winner.

Sherwin Nuland died at his home in Hamden, Connecticut of prostate cancer. He was 83 years old.

Editor's note: In 2001, Dr. Nuland delivered a TED talk on the development of electroshock therapy as a cure for depression. Watch below: