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Rethinking Mortality: Exploring the Boundaries between Life and Death

Edited by

Edited by Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences editorial staff

Rethinking Mortality: Exploring the Boundaries between Life and Death

Published: November 2014

Volume 1330

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Remarkable advances in resuscitation medicine—the science of bringing people back to life—have blurred the once clear demarcation between life and death. In light of these advances, the Nour Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences presented a timely and thought-provoking four-part series entitled “Rethinking Mortality: Exploring the Boundaries between Life and Death,” which brought together leading experts at the crossroads of emergency medicine and neuroscience, psychology and law, and anthropology and philosophy. They explored the new frontier at the intersection of life and death, and its potential implications for how we understand and approach our mortality from scientific, ethical, and social perspectives. This Annals volume presents transcripts from each of the four panel discussions—“Reversing death: the miracle of modern medicine;” “Prolonging life: legal, ethical, and social dilemmas;” “Experiencing death: an insider's perspective;” and “Confronting mortality: faith and meaning across cultures.” Also included is a collection of essays from several panelists, including attorney and advocate Barbara Coombs Lee, neurologist Kevin Nelson, emergency medicine and resuscitation expert Sam Parnia, organ donation specialist Sam Shemie, and bioethicist Mildred Solomon.