Birth and death in the modern world

Ten years ago in Mexico it was the normal thing to be born and die in one’s own home and to be buried by one’s friend’s. Only the soul’s needs were taken care of by the institutional church. Now to begin and end life at home become signs of either poverty or of special privilege. Dying and death have come under the institutional management of doctors and undertakers.

– Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society, published in 1971

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