The Bell Tolls For Thee

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August 13, 2009 1:50 p.m.

Is there anything quite as unsettling as when the nation’s political class (and I use that term broadly to encompass the occasionally political, like the tea partiers) turns its fleeting but intense focus to a new (for them) and complex topic, like end-of-life issues?

It seems like years of painstaking work to nudge our death-denying culture toward a more frank and humane approach to our own mortality and dying could be erased by one misguided national discussion set off by none other than Sarah Palin.

So Brian Beutler talked to one medical oncologist just to try to bring the discussion back to some semblance of reality.

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