There is a vast literature on death and dying, but there are few reliable accounts of the ways in which we die. The intimate accounts of how various diseases take away life offered in How We Die, is not meant to prompt horror or terror but to ...
demythologize the process of dying. Though the avenues of death -- AIDS, cancer, heart attack, Alzheimer's, accident, and stroke -- are common, each of us will die in a way different from any that has gone before. Each one of death's diverse appearances is as distinctive as that singular face we each show during our lives. Behind each death is a story. In How We Die, Sherwin B. Nuland, a surgeon and teacher of medicine, tells some stories of dying that reveal not only why someone dies but how. He offers a portrait of the experience of dying that makes clear the choices that can be made to allow each of us his or her own death.