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All Things Considered Home Page30th Anniversary of ATC
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All Things Considered


  • After more than 150 years of British rule, Hong Kong is returned to China. Princess Diana dies when her car crashes into the wall of a Paris traffic tunnel. And scientists in Scotland announce success in cloning the first mammal from an adult, a sheep they name "Dolly."
  • In November ATC launches a yearlong series examining issues related to dying.
  • On the Nov. 3 show, Linda Wertheimer and Robert Siegel begin the series The End of Life with a roundtable discussion among two physicians and a chaplain who care for the dying.

    Wertheimer: "There've been enormous changes -- open heart surgery, even the invention of intensive care, trauma centers, chemotherapy -- many people saved who might have died. Has this changed the way, do you think that we regard death?"

    Dr. Eric Cassel: "When you say a lot of people don't die who died before, well I promise you, everybody dies... The event of this death may be put off, but the actual fact of death, even from that illness, is not put off."

    Hospice chaplain Jeanne Brenneis: "I've spent 12 years trying to teach people that everybody dies, and it astonished me that 83-year-olds still come into our care and are surprised that they're going to die. But if you're fighting for the next chemo and the next cure right up until your last breath, there's no time to reflect on what your life has meant; on whether you've achieved the things you want; on saying 'I love you'; on saying good-bye..."

    Hear the broadcast.