reykjavik

Helga Hansdóttir and Magnús Pálsson, Dialogues on Death, 2003–11, furniture, rugs, clothes, radios, CDs, headphones, sound, video record-ings. Installation view.

Helga Hansdóttir and Magnús Pálsson

National Gallery of Iceland

Helga Hansdóttir and Magnús Pálsson, Dialogues on Death, 2003–11, furniture, rugs, clothes, radios, CDs, headphones, sound, video record-ings. Installation view.

In 2008, Dr. Helga Hansdóttir and Dr. Sigríður Halldórsdóttir published a research paper titled “Dialogues on Death: A Phenomenological Study on Views of the Elderly Toward Life and Death and End-of-Life Treatments” in the medical journal Open Longevity Science. The two geriatricians sought to document attitudes of the elderly toward life, death, and the kind of end-of-life treatment they preferred, in order to better understand how they had arrived at their beliefs. They carried out dialogues with men and women age seventy-two to ninety-one, and, in brief, discovered a common acceptance among their interlocutors that at their age, death was a natural part of life; and a consensus that, if in illness and without hope of a meaningful recovery, no extraordinary measures should be taken to prolong their lives.

These interviews, while clinically significant, were also persuasive and

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