Knocking on Heaven's Door

Knocking on Heaven's Door

The Path to A Better Way of Death

Book - 2013
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"A blend of memoir and investigation of the choices we face when our terror of death collides with the technological imperatives of modern medicine"-- Provided by publisher.
"An exquisitely written, expertly reported memoir and expose; of modern medicine that leads the way to more humane, less invasive end-of-life care based on the author's acclaimed New York Times Magazine piece. This is the story of one daughter's struggle to allow her parents the peaceful, natural deaths they wanted and to investigate the larger forces in medicine that stood in the way. When doctors refused to disable the pacemaker that caused her eighty-four-year-old father's heart to outlive his brain, Katy Butler, an award-winning science writer, embarked on a quest to understand why modern medicine was depriving him of a humane, timely death. After his lingering death, Katy's mother, nearly broken by years of nonstop caregiving, defied her doctors, refused open-heart surgery, and insisted on facing death the old-fashioned way: bravely, lucidly, and head on. Against this backdrop of familial love, wrenching moral choices, and redemption, Knocking on Heaven's Door celebrates the inventors of the 1950s who cobbled together lifesaving machines like the pacemaker and it exposes the tangled marriage of technology, medicine, and commerce that gave us a modern way of death: more painful, expensive, and prolonged than ever before. Caring for declining parents is a reality facing millions who may someday tell a doctor: "Let my parent go." A riveting exploration of the forgotten art of dying, Knocking on Heaven's Door empowers readers to create new rites of passage to the "Good Deaths" our ancestors so prized. Like Jessica Mitford's The American Way of Death and How We Die by Sherwin Nuland, it is sure to cause controversy and open minds"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Scribner, 2013
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781451641974
1451641974
Branch Call Number: 616.029 B9775k 2013
Characteristics: pages cm

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Part memoir, part investigative reporting, Knocking on Heaven's Door explores end-of-life care and the impact on the patient and their families.


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g
gylemch
Feb 27, 2015

A must read for seniors, too, or
for anyone contemplating pace maker insertion. Living a long life is great as long as one is healthy and can maintain that life independently.

r
richibi
Jun 14, 2014

when specialists focus their cures on all the separate body parts, the heart, the lungs, the other essential organs, no one 's taking care of the soul, which is what the patient, and loved ones, would've wanted, and the consequences are devastating, this book is a plea for, rather than temporary cures, compassion

Jane60201 May 06, 2014

A very worthwhile book for anyone who is aging or with aging parents. As a medical social worker I knew all this stuff, but most people don't.

KCLSLibrarians Jan 15, 2014

This is a MUST read for anyone dealing with an aging parent. Butler provides very personal insights and often hard to hear truths about our current medical, ethical, and moral dilemmas as we face the question of ‘what to do about Dad?’ Useful, timely, and thought provoking, this book will help inform all of your end of life decisions, including and perhaps most importantly, your own. Also available on CD narrated by the author

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EmmaDagny
Dec 27, 2013

I wish this book was available for Kindle. Even the large print is too small.

b
bbb1771
Sep 29, 2013

Should be mandatory reading for anyone with a parent over the age of 70. Although told within the context of the US medical system (for profit, no universal care) the issues facing families as parents age are the same around the developed world.

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MaxineML Jan 08, 2014

On an autumn day in 2007, while I was visiting from California, my mother made a request I both dreaded and longed to fulfill.

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