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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 2nd June 2017 > A Matter of Life and Death Edward Docx makes sense of an ending

A Matter of Life and Death Edward Docx makes sense of an ending

EDWARD DOCX’S FOURTH NOVEL is a love story—not between a young couple but between Larry Lasker, a “courageous but cowardly, wonderful but terrible” man in his late 60s, and his youngest son, Lou. Lou is the child of Larry’s happy second marriage and able to overlook his father’s shortcomings. But Ralph and Jack, the sons of Larry’s first wife, cannot forgive their father for his brutal abandonment of their mother. They long to excavate the past, to force their father to admit how cruelly he behaved. Now time is running out. Larry is in the late stages of a motor neuron disease and has resolved to end his life at Dignitas, a Swiss nonprofit that assists terminally ill patients with suicide.

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THE DOCTOR WILL SEE YOU NOW Now, startups are applying artificial intelligence (AI), floods of data and automation in ways that promise to dramatically drive down the costs of health care while increasing effectiveness. If this profound trend plays out, within five to ten years, Congress won’t have to fight about the exploding costs of Medicaid and insurance. Instead, it might battle over what to do with a massive windfall. Today’s debate over the repeal of Obamacare would come to seem as backward as a discussion about the merits of leeching.