100 books like Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven But Nobody Wants to Die

By Amy Gutmann, Jonathan D. Moreno,

Here are 100 books that Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven But Nobody Wants to Die fans have personally recommended if you like Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven But Nobody Wants to Die. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present

Brian Elliott Author Of White Coat Ways: A History of Medical Traditions and Their Battle with Progress

From my list on medical history that changes medical perspective.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a physician, medicine is my job. But along the way, I wondered how medicine got to where it is now–like really wondered. I wondered to the point that I was reading the original treatises written by 18th-century physicians. I started publishing research on medical history and giving presentations at medical conferences. I’d like to think this helps me be a better doctor by broadening my perspective on the healthcare industry. But at the very least, I’ve found these books enjoyable and compelling. I hope you enjoy them, too!

Brian's book list on medical history that changes medical perspective

Brian Elliott Why did Brian love this book?

Healthcare is delivered by people who are sometimes subject to biases or prejudices, and this book is a vivid and extraordinarily researched account of how horrible it is when these biases and prejudices go unchecked.

However, what really hit hard for me was that this book is only half about medical history. The last part of this book discusses research practices and biases that are in effect today.

As a physician, this book was imperative to better understand the historical and contemporary issues involving race and medicine. 

By Harriet A. Washington,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Medical Apartheid as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER • The first full history of Black America’s shocking mistreatment as unwilling and unwitting experimental subjects at the hands of the medical establishment. No one concerned with issues of public health and racial justice can afford not to read this masterful book.

"[Washington] has unearthed a shocking amount of information and shaped it into a riveting, carefully documented book." —New York Times

From the era of slavery to the present day, starting with the earliest encounters between Black Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist pseudoscience that resulted, Medical Apartheid details the ways…


Book cover of Rights Come to Mind

Jacob M. Appel Author Of Who Says You're Dead? Medical & Ethical Dilemmas for the Curious & Concerned

From my list on challenging ethical dilemmas in modern medicine.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a physician and attorney, I’ve always been fascinated by the nexus where my two professions meet.   During the course of my career, I have been asked to advise colleagues on topics as far-reaching as whether a death row inmate should receive an organ transplant to how to offer psychotherapy ethically to a conjoined twin. Although questions like these do not arise every day, even the everyday questions in my field – on such topics as confidentiality, boundaries, and informed consent – never grow old.

Jacob's book list on challenging ethical dilemmas in modern medicine

Jacob M. Appel Why did Jacob love this book?

Fins combines personal narratives of patients he has encountered who have suffered severe neurological injuries with data from the field of neurology to explore the complex question of what it means to be in a persistent vegetative state—as well as one’s prognosis for recovery. A deeply compassionate volume that will make readers question what they believe about comas, death, and the gray area in between. 

By Joseph J. Fins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rights Come to Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Through the sobering story of Maggie Worthen and her mother, Nancy, this book tells of one family's struggle with severe brain injury and how developments in neuroscience call for a reconsideration of what society owes patients at the edge of consciousness. Drawing upon over fifty in-depth family interviews, the history of severe brain injury from Quinlan to Schiavo, and his participation in landmark clinical trials, such as the first use of deep brain stimulation in the minimally conscious state, Joseph J. Fins captures the paradox of medical and societal neglect even as advances in neuroscience suggest new ways to mend…


Book cover of You Can Stop Humming Now: A Doctor's Stories of Life, Death, and in Between

Jacob M. Appel Author Of Who Says You're Dead? Medical & Ethical Dilemmas for the Curious & Concerned

From my list on challenging ethical dilemmas in modern medicine.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a physician and attorney, I’ve always been fascinated by the nexus where my two professions meet.   During the course of my career, I have been asked to advise colleagues on topics as far-reaching as whether a death row inmate should receive an organ transplant to how to offer psychotherapy ethically to a conjoined twin. Although questions like these do not arise every day, even the everyday questions in my field – on such topics as confidentiality, boundaries, and informed consent – never grow old.

Jacob's book list on challenging ethical dilemmas in modern medicine

Jacob M. Appel Why did Jacob love this book?

Lamas, an ICU physician in Boston and New York Times guest columnist, has a distinctive gift for rendering the stories of her patients in three dimensions. Lamas is the Oliver Sachs of the ICU, exploring the ethical and emotional challenges of critical illness with eloquence and insight. By focusing on the personal elements of critical care, rather than the technological ones, she renders the complex experience of ICU patients vivid and indelible.   

By Daniela Lamas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You Can Stop Humming Now as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Gripping, soaring, inspiring . . . Read it' - Atul Gawande, author of the international bestseller Being Mortal

'You Can Stop Humming Now is essential reading on what it means to be human in an age of medical technology. I couldn't put it down' - Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, author of The Fact of a Body

'In turns anguishing, gripping, and hopeful, You Can Stop Humming Now is a must-read for anyone contemplating what medicine holds in store for us.' - Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD, author of What Patients Say, What Doctors Feel

Modern medicine is a world that glimmers with new…


Book cover of Law and Bioethics: An Introduction

Jacob M. Appel Author Of Who Says You're Dead? Medical & Ethical Dilemmas for the Curious & Concerned

From my list on challenging ethical dilemmas in modern medicine.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a physician and attorney, I’ve always been fascinated by the nexus where my two professions meet.   During the course of my career, I have been asked to advise colleagues on topics as far-reaching as whether a death row inmate should receive an organ transplant to how to offer psychotherapy ethically to a conjoined twin. Although questions like these do not arise every day, even the everyday questions in my field – on such topics as confidentiality, boundaries, and informed consent – never grow old.

Jacob's book list on challenging ethical dilemmas in modern medicine

Jacob M. Appel Why did Jacob love this book?

The defining text of the topic of law and medicine, written by one of the nation’s premier bioethicists, Menikoff’s compendium of challenging cases and analyses is as relevant today as it was when first published two decades ago. Serious students of the subject matter will appreciate both the nuance and thoroughness of this short yet comprehensive volume.

By Jerry Menikoff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Law and Bioethics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

While the American legal system has played an important role in shaping the field of bioethics, "Law and Bioethics" is the first book on the subject designed to be accessible to readers with little or no legal background. Detailing how the legal analysis of an issue in bioethics often differs from the "ethical" analysis, the book covers such topics as abortion, surrogacy, cloning, informed consent, malpractice, refusal of care, and organ transplantation. Structured like a legal casebook, "Law and Bioethics" includes the text of almost all the landmark cases that have shaped bioethics. Jerry Menikoff offers commentary on each of…


Book cover of The Biology of Moral Systems

Dennis L. Krebs Author Of Survival of the Virtuous: How We Became a Moral Animal

From my list on how we became a moral animal.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was younger, I got into a lot of trouble. Many good-hearted people helped me. In part, this inspired me to become a clinical psychologist. When I was in graduate school at Harvard, I became disillusioned with clinical psychology and inspired to figure out why people are motivated to help others. During this process, a lecturer from the Biology Department, Robert Trivers, approached me and we exchanged drafts of papers we were writing. Trivers’ ideas caused me to see altruism and morality in an entirely different, and much more valid, way. In Survival of the Virtuous I demonstrate how psychological findings on altruism and morality can be gainfully interpreted from an evolutionary perspective.  

Dennis' book list on how we became a moral animal

Dennis L. Krebs Why did Dennis love this book?

My introduction to Richard Alexander was a set of compelling words that he wrote in the margin of a draft of one of my early papers on the evolution of altruism: “no, no, no, no.” I had gotten it wrong. 

In The Biology of Moral Systems, Richard Alexander presents an account of how morality evolved in the human species that has proven almost exactly right. The key to understanding morality, he argues, is to view it as a system that evolved to enable individuals who can benefit from cooperating with one another to resolve their conflicts of interest in mutually beneficial ways. 

Alexander explains how the moral systems that have evolved in human societies are structured in ways that enable people to reap the benefits of increasingly indirect systems of reciprocity.  

By Richard Alexander,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Biology of Moral Systems as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Despite wide acceptance that the attributes of living creatures have appeared through a cumulative evolutionary process guided chiefly by natural selection, many human activities have seemed analytically inaccessible through such an approach. Prominent evolutionary biologists, for example, have described morality as contrary to the direction of biological evolution, and moral philosophers rarely regard evolution as relevant to their discussions.The Biology of Moral Systems adopts the position that moral questions arise out of conflicts of interest, and that moral systems are ways of using confluences of interest at lower levels of social organization to deal with conflicts of interest at higher…


Book cover of The Adoration of Jenna Fox

Betty Culley Author Of The Name She Gave Me

From my list on adoption feels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I went into foster care at nine months old, was adopted three years later, and as an adult I was reunited with five siblings I never knew I had. I’ve spent my whole life wondering or searching for the truths about my past. 

Betty's book list on adoption feels

Betty Culley Why did Betty love this book?

Jenna Fox wakes from a year-long coma after a terrible accident and tries to figure out who she is now. This is a book with futuristic medicine and technology, but the feelings and emotions are universal. Jenna’s struggle to find out the truth about her past, and her place in the present make this one of my very favorite books, which I’ve read and reread many times.

By Mary E. Pearson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Adoration of Jenna Fox as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Who is Jenna Fox? Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn't remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers?

This fascinating novel represents a stunning new direction for acclaimed author Mary Pearson. Set in a near future America, it takes readers on an unforgettable journey through questions of bio-medical ethics and the nature of humanity. Mary Pearson's vividly drawn characters…


Book cover of Childhood's End

Craig A. Falconer Author Of Not Alone

From my list on how things will change when the aliens show up.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always had a longstanding interest in space, and particularly in aliens. In researching my breakthrough novel Not Alone, I extensively read as much nonfiction content on the topic as I could find, including governmental-backed scenario analyses of how things might actually play out in a contact or invasion scenario. Naturally, I have also read widely in the sci-fi genre for my own pleasure, with most of my interest in this specific topic.

Craig's book list on how things will change when the aliens show up

Craig A. Falconer Why did Craig love this book?

This was the first major alien arrival novel I read. I recall being awestruck by Arthur C. Clarke’s masterful mixing of incisive storytelling and a deep sense of grandeur.

The Overlords are hugely memorable, but it was the exploration of human identity that had the biggest effect on me. The story endures as a classic for a very good reason.

By Arthur C. Clarke,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Childhood's End as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Arthur C. Clarke's classic in which he ponders humanity's future and possible evolution

When the silent spacecraft arrived and took the light from the world, no one knew what to expect. But, although the Overlords kept themselves hidden from man, they had come to unite a warring world and to offer an end to poverty and crime. When they finally showed themselves it was a shock, but one that humankind could now cope with, and an era of peace, prosperity and endless leisure began.

But the children of this utopia dream strange dreams of distant suns and alien planets, and…


Book cover of Principles of Biomedical Ethics

Raphael Cohen-Almagor Author Of The Right to Die with Dignity: An Argument in Ethics, Medicine, and Law

From my list on medical ethics and end-of-life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Raphael Cohen-Almagor, DPhil, St. Catherine’s College, University of Oxford, is Professor of Politics, Olof Palme Visiting Professor, Lund University, Founding Director of the Middle East Study Centre, University of Hull, and Global Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Raphael taught, inter alia, at Oxford (UK), Jerusalem, Haifa (Israel), UCLA, Johns Hopkins (USA), and Nirma University (India). With more than 300 publications, Raphael has published extensively in the field of political philosophy, including Liberal Democracy and the Limits of Tolerance; Challenges to Democracy; The Right to Die with Dignity; The Scope of Tolerance; Confronting the Internet's Dark Side; Just, Reasonable Multiculturalism, and The Republic, Secularism and Security: France versus the Burqa and the Niqab.

Raphael's book list on medical ethics and end-of-life

Raphael Cohen-Almagor Why did Raphael love this book?

This is a classic book.

It is probably the most influential book in the field of medical ethics since the field was established during the 1960s.

I use this book and its invoked Georgetown Mantra of Bioethics, which includes the principles of beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and justice, in all my medical ethics courses, and refer to this book often when I'm writing about medical ethics and end-of-life concerns.

Its guiding principles are relevant today as they were when the book was written. 

I invited Tom Beauchamp to one of the conferences I organised. Tom subsequently contributed a chapter to my edited volume Medical Ethics at the Dawn of the 21st Century (New York: New York Academy of Sciences, 2000), Vol. 913 of the Annals.

He also invited me to present my book at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University. When I was teaching at Johns Hopkins I also…

By Tom L. Beauchamp, James F. Childress,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Principles of Biomedical Ethics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Principles of Biomedical Ethics, eighth edition, provides a highly original, practical, and insightful guide to morality in the health professions. Acclaimed authors Tom L. Beauchamp and James F. Childress thoroughly develop and advocate for four principles that lie at the core of moral reasoning in health care: respect for autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, and justice.Drawing from contemporary research, and integrating detailed case studies and vivid real-life examples and scenarios, they demonstrate how these prima facie principles can be expanded to apply to various conflicts and dilemmas. Ideal for courses in biomedical ethics, bioethics, and health care ethics, the text is enhanced…


Book cover of Double Helix

John Cardina Author Of Lives of Weeds: Opportunism, Resistance, Folly

From my list on science and nature by scientists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been exploring the natural world most of my life as a gardener, naturalist, student, and researcher. I’ve come to appreciate the essentiality of our dependence on plant and other animal life. But I always want to know more. So I try to read across diverse areas of science as well as history, anthropology, linguistics, and archaeology. I want to know the mind of the thinker, the discoverer of ideas, the developer of technology. I want to understand the process of creativity from the view of the artist or inventor. Thus, I seek first-person accounts of scientists, doctors, inventors, as they struggle to understand the world that fascinates them.

John's book list on science and nature by scientists

John Cardina Why did John love this book?

This is the classic personal account of the discovery of the structure of DNA. I read it as an early college assignment, but now find it rich in history, biology, and insight. Watson described himself as an ornithology undergraduate who avoided chemistry and physics courses in spite of a desire to do science—a common sentiment. He unfolds in frank detail how the world of science worked, and sometimes didn’t work, early post-WWII. We learn as much about bond angles and hydration as we do about laboratory politics and personality quirks beneath the effort to puzzle out the structure and function of DNA. The epilogue pays tribute to less well-known collaborators, especially Rosalind Franklin, sometimes dismissed as uncooperative, but recognized here for her essential contributions and competence as a scientist.

By Nancy Werlin,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Double Helix as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Eighteen year old Eli Samuels has just graduated from high school and lucked into a job at Wyatt Transgenics—offered to him by Dr. Quincy Wyatt, the legendary molecular biologist. The salary is substantial, the work is interesting, and Dr. Wyatt seems to be paying special attention to Eli.

Is it too good to be true? Eli's girlfriend doesn't think so, but his father is vehemently against his taking the job and won't explain why. Eli knows that there's some connection between Dr. Wyatt and his parents—something too painful for his father to discuss. Something to do with his mother, who…


Book cover of Popularizing Dementia: Public Expressions and Representations of Forgetfulness

Julian C. Hughes Author Of Thinking Through Dementia

From my list on personhood and dementia.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an old age psychiatrist, I was naturally interested in dementia. But I’m also trained to doctoral level in philosophy. I’ve been both an honorary professor of philosophy of ageing (at Newcastle) and a professor of old age psychiatry (at Bristol). Whilst training in psychiatry at Oxford, I came across the work of Tom Kitwood. Subsequently, I’ve become great friends with Steve Sabat. His work and Kitwood’s brought home to me the complexity of personhood and its relevance to how we care for and think about people living with dementia. And the more you consider it, the more the notion of personhood broadens out to include citizenship and human rights.

Julian's book list on personhood and dementia

Julian C. Hughes Why did Julian love this book?

To be honest, I might have overlooked this book had I not had the good fortune to meet Mark, one of its editors, at various very enjoyable academic events in Europe – made exciting by Mark’s incisive contributions. The book exemplifies the movement I have previously gestured at. The broadening effect here is achieved by situating dementia as a cultural phenomenon. How is dementia represented in popular culture: in fiction, in art, film, the media, and so forth? More importantly, how are we to understand and what sort of critiques can be applied to the narratives that emerge from these cultural representations and expressions? There is much to be gained from approaching dementia from an aesthetic viewpoint. The variety of topics in this book and their treatment is refreshing and incredibly stimulating.

By Aagje Swinnen (editor), Mark Schweda (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Popularizing Dementia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How are individual and social ideas of late-onset dementia shaped and negotiated in film, literature, the arts, and the media? And how can the symbolic forms provided by popular culture be adopted and transformed by those affected in order to express their own perspectives? This international and interdisciplinary volume summarizes central current research trends and opens new theoretical and empirical perspectives on dementia in popular culture. It includes contributions by internationally renowned scholars from the humanities, social and cultural gerontology, age(ing) studies, cultural studies, philosophy, and bioethics. Contributions by Lucy Burke, Marlene Goldman, Annette Leibing and others.


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