15 November 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth
Dr. Seamus O’Mahony has been announced as November ‘Cork Person of the Month’ to mark his brave and thoughtful book ‘The Way We Die Now’. His book gives us a rare glimpse into the world of death and dying from the vantage point of a medical doctor.
Dr. O’Mahony’s book explains why he considers that modern acute hospitals make a good death increasingly difficult. Doctors working in general hospitals face very difficult decisions about frail, elderly people towards the end of life in terms of how far they should go with medical treatment and interventions.
“The deaths I see are frequently undignified; the dying very often have not accepted or understood their situation, the truth denied them by well-intentioned relatives and doctors. Their death has been stolen from them,” said Dr. O’Mahony.
“This book kick-starts a conversation about modern death and dying. The majority of us will die in a busy hospital in the care of strangers, in many cases after a long and undignified series of excessive and hopeless medical interventions. Seamus O’Mahony deserves great credit by exploring the ways in which western society has lost the ability to deal with death,” said awards organiser Manus O’Callaghan.
Dr. Seamus O’Mahony is a Consultant Gastroenterologist at Cork University Hospital. He is Associate Editor for Medical Humanities at the Journal of the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh, and is a regular contributor to the Dublin Review of Books.
Dr. O’Mahony’s name will join other nominated candidates for the final selection of the ‘Cork Person of the Year Award’, which will be announced at a Gala Lunch on January 20th 2017.