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Fragments on the Deathwatch by Louise Harmon

Fragments on the Deathwatch

by Louise Harmon

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 080704119X, Paperback)

Fragments on the Deathwatch is a strange, fractured book, part legal advocacy, part poignant memoir. The family and friends who carry out a deathwatch deserve the same consideration and respect given to those who are dying, writes Louise Harmon. Despite its importance in traditional cultures around the world, the time we spend with those who are dying is often ignored in modern life. From the roadblocks thrown up by institutions both legal and medical to our society's taboos about discussing death, we conspire to keep people at arm's length from their dying loved ones. A professor of law at Touro College, Harmon can't help but frame much of her argument in legal terms, in spite of her insistence that no professional vocabulary is adequate to the nuances of grief. Perhaps in order to compensate for this lawyerliness, Fragments on the Deathwatch comes liberally enriched with footnotes, commentary, and a plethora of quotes from poetry as well as from the law. Most powerfully, Harmon also tells the agonizing story of her father's own death and her vigil at his side.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:51 -0400)

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Beacon Press

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