Steve Heilig

The Modern Evolution of Death

~Co-presented with the Coastal Health Alliance~

For the past century or so, more humans than ever before have lived in a historical bubble of relative affluence, medical sophistication, philosophical discussion, and unprecedented longevity. Modern times have had significant impacts on how we think and feel about death, and what we try to do about it. The limits of our lives and our technologies have raised many questions, most still unanswered.

You won’t get many, if any, of those answers from this discussion, but in this conversation, Steve Heilig talks with Commonweal’s Susan Braun to shed some light on the ways sophisticated, modern people confront death and dying in our times.

Modern Evolution of Death


Steve Heilig

Steve is director of Public Health and Education for the San Francisco Medical Society and the Collaborative on Health and the Environment at Commonweal, co-editor of the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, and a clinical ethicist at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

He is also a trained hospice worker and former volunteer and director of the Zen Hospice Project. A longtime book critic for the San Francisco Chronicle and other publications, he has authored more than 400 pieces on a wide range of medical, public health, ecological, literary, and other topics.