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Ira  Byock, MD was the Director of Palliative Medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire and is currently Professor of Anesthesiology and Community & Family Medicine at Dartmouth[…]

Death is hard, it’s messy, and it’s inherently painful, and that is why we are sequestering it.

Question: Are we adequately dealing with the death in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Ira Byock: No, I think we are in denial about the death that comes from more, also and that’s some of that has been deliberated, we don’t see the caskets coming home, the flag draped caskets, and we see wounded that’s but we mostly see wounded vets on the evening news, around human stories about their remarkable progress or prosthetic devices or around some of the problems that they are dealing with in post-traumatic stress or brain post-traumatic brain injury syndromes.

The death is still seen as tragic and again we hero-itize it to some extent so that we make it romantic. Death is hard, it’s messy, and it’s inherently painful, and I still think we are sequestering it. It’s easy to talk about, easier to talk about policy than the human side of all of this.


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