In this extraordinary book, Iona Heath draws on her experience as a general practitioner to select and comment on a collection of passages concerning death and dying, and to consider the essential nature of general practice. In Ways of Dying Heath illuminates the process for professionals and lay readers, and stimulates consideration of approaches to improved care at end of life. Her renowned work The Mystery of General Practice (which has been unavailable for some time), considers the complex character of this field, its core values and changing roles. The two extended essays cover important issues on the role of the healthcare professional in the care of the dying, the idea of life and death, and the essential nature of general practice. Matters of Life and Death offers inspiration for all doctors, especially those with an interest in medical humanities. It will also be of great interest to general readers interested in end of life matters, and the nature and art of medicine.

part 1|4 pages

A Story

part 2|3 pages

Ways of Dying

chapter 1|2 pages


chapter 2|6 pages

The Denial of Death

chapter 3|6 pages

The Gift of Death

chapter 4|6 pages

Ways of Dying

chapter 5|4 pages

Alive Until Dead

chapter 6|8 pages

How is it Possible to Die?

chapter 7|9 pages

Time and Eternity

chapter 8|15 pages

What the Doctor Needs

chapter 9|4 pages

Science and Poetry

part 3|4 pages

Twelve Theses on the Economy of the Dead

part 4|5 pages


part 5|40 pages

The Mystery of General Practice

chapter 10|3 pages


chapter 11|7 pages

The Current Crisis

chapter 12|4 pages

Nature of Medicine

chapter 13|7 pages

The Key Roles of General Practice

chapter 14|11 pages

What is Needed

chapter 15|4 pages

The Future