Sick To Death > Chapter 1 > The Shape of Things to Come

Sick To Death book cover This extract from the online edition of Sick to Death and Not Going to Take It Anymore! is used with permission.

The Shape of Things to Come

A major success of modern medical care is that we will be fairly healthy through most of life. But eventually, the facts of mortality will catch each of us - author, readers, general public. And for most of us, eventually fatal chronic illness generates the most substantial expense and, perhaps, the most unexamined challenge we face.

No one can count on good care. Some combination of pain, disability, financial ruin, family stress, and powerlessness awaits most of us. We could let it drift and just hope for good luck; but we could do better, so much better. We all have a stake in this, for ourselves and those we love, and for the community at large. At least for the next half century, more and more of us will be coming to the end of life together - doubling the annual number over the next two decades. The outlines of effective reforms are becoming clear, and the case for them is becoming compelling.