A look at cultural traditions on death

A bioethics conference will focus on spiritual practices about dying, including whether the body is a temple — or a prison.

Back when my father’s life was coming to an end at an excruciatingly slow pace, my brother and I vowed not to die like that, with so much compromise and indignity.

But hanging on seems to be the norm in our culture, thanks to advances in medical technology and the widely held opinion that death is optional. Lots of folks seem convinced that even aging is avoidable — if you just keep getting more work done.

Is it like that in other cultures? Read more


Steve Lopez is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times.


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