Michelle Harrington and Daniel Sulmasy interweave philosophy, theology, and medicine in an exploration of the role of spiritual preparation in a contemporary art of dying. Building on Lysaught’s observation in chapter 5 that the rituals and practices of the Ars moriendi are meant largely for spiritual preparation for death, they address the aims of the patient autonomy movement to take control of dying and death. Through a narrative account of the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, they show that there is a freedom to be gained in choosing how to live in such a way that we may die well. The repercussions of death itself, they contend, might produce the greatest freedom.
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