Anita Hannig is associate professor of anthropology at Brandeis University, where she teaches classes on medicine, religion, and death and dying. In recent years, Anita has emerged as a leading voice on death literacy in America, giving interviews for the Washington Post, USA Today, and the Boston Globe. Her writing has appeared in Cognoscenti, Undark Magazine, and the Seattle Times, among other publications. Anita earned her BA in Anthropology from Reed College and her MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Chicago.
Anita will be discussing her new book, The Day I Die: The Untold Story of Assisted Dying in America (Sourcebooks) — an intimate investigation of what it means to determine the end of our lives. The Day I Die reframes how we understand the potential of medicine, not as a way to extend life, but to ease the process of dying. Drawing on her experience as both a researcher and a hospice volunteer, Anita argues that assisted dying is not a failure of palliative medicine but a vital complement to it. Yet she also asks what happens when palliative care and hospice run out of answers.
NPR journalist Diane Rehm has said about The Day I Die: “Copies of this book should be in every doctor’s office in the country, to educate patients and doctors themselves!”