End-of-life Issues

Commonweal Interviews

Featuring the best of our interviews—including Woody Allen, Jorge Luis Borges, Mary Gordon, (Sister) Elizabeth McAlister, Christian Wiman, and Mario Cuomo...

Poem | Aunt Grace Wears Beautiful Clothes

Asleep, she has no idea she is old. // She’s running uphill, no lightfoot, but quite fast / past the houses and driveways of family friends / toward the higher...

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Anne Enright's new novel suggests something simple—family, for good or ill, keeps forming us even when we try to escape it—but her prose constantly surprises.

Last Word: Senioritis

Often the way our society treats "senior citizens" assumes that as bodies age, individuality decreases. But aren't whiskers and white socks a sign of unique wisdom?

Last Word: Things Fall Apart

Despite hard work, sound planning, lifestyle adjustments, and unusually well-behaved Irish genes, I find myself—to paraphrase Yeats—“where all the ladders” end.

Letters | Deciding to die in America

Continuing the debate on programs like POLST (Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment).

Last Word: Giving Care

Relatives of Alzheimer's sufferers are often reminded that the human person is more than memory and mind. We don't easily believe this, until something happens.

An Interview with Christian Wiman

The poet discusses "accidental theologies," Gerard Manley Hopkins, faith in literature, and what it's like no longer being the editor of Poetry magazine.

The Last Word: Skull & Bones

We moderns pay advanced planning counselors to avoid the fate of St. John of the Cross and to get us to our burial on time, but can we ever be sure it will work out?

Looking Away

Why have final rituals, some of which go back two millennia, changed so markedly in the past fifty years?

‘Intrinsic Evil’ & Public Policy

Everyone knows what the Catholic Church teaches about abortion, right? It is an “intrinsically evil act.” Yet the answers of Joe Biden and Paul Ryan in the recent...

Care Package

In current battles between church and state about health care and health insurance, it is often the poor and uninsured who end up as unintended casualties. A recent...
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Book Reviews

Fetal Positions

March 14, 2011 | 0 comments

The Banality of Eagleton

May 31, 2010 | 0 comments