A DEATH WITH DIGNITY: When the Chinese Came by Lois Wheeler Snow

A DEATH WITH DIGNITY: When the Chinese Came

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In 1970 -- the Snows had been living for some years in the little Swiss village of St. Cergue in the Jura -- the Snows made their first trip to China in some years -- they were the first Americans invited because of Edgar's longstanding friendship with Mao. Two years later he was returned from the hospital in Lausanne dying of cancer of the liver and pancreas. They were both unready for the ""actuality of terminal illness."" Mao and Chou En-Lai sent a team of doctors and nurses (a surgeon, a cancer specialist, an acupuncturist, etc.) as an act of friendship, not to prolong but to ease his dying with the warm companionship and community they provided but also with the wisdom of accumulated years which provided comforting and painkilling measures day and night -- far from the cold sterility of the hospital bed. Thus he died not only with dignity but far greater peacefulness than we achieve here in the western world and the lesson is there (however difficult it might be to achieve in another civilization). Mrs. Snow's short book will serve not only as a commemorative but as affirmation of possibility for the West also.

Pub Date: April 17th, 1975
Publisher: Random House