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 thoroughly researched and compelling mix of personal narrative and hard-nosed reporting that captures just how flawed care at the end of life has become" (Abraham Verghese, T he New York Times Book Review ).

This bestselling memoir--hailed a "triumph" by The New York Times --ponders the "Good Death" and the forces within medicine that stand in its way.

Award-winning journalist Katy Butler was living thousands of miles from her aging parents when the call came: her beloved seventy-nine-year-old father had suffered a crippling stroke. Katy and her mother joined the more than 28 million Americans who are shepherding loved ones through their final declines.

Doctors outfitted her father with a pacemaker, which kept his heart going while doing nothing to prevent a slide into dementia, near-blindness, and misery. When he said, "I'm living too long," mother and daughter faced wrenching moral questions. Where is the line between saving a life and prolonging a dying? When do you say to a doctor, "Let my loved one go?"

When doctors refused to disable the pacemaker, condemning her father to a lingering death, Butler set out to understand why. Her quest had barely begun when her mother , faced with her own grave illness, rebelled against her doctors, refused open-heart surgery, and met death the old-fashioned way: head-on.

Part memoir, part medical history, and part spiritual guide, Knocking on Heaven's Door is a map through the labyrinth of a broken medical system. Technological medicine, obsessed with maximum longevity, is creating more suffering than it prevents. Butler chronicles the rise of Slow Medicine, a movement bent on reclaiming the "Good Deaths" our ancestors prized. In families, hospitals, and the public sphere, this visionary memoir is inspiring the difficult conversations we must have to light the path to a better way of death.

" A lyrical meditation written with extraordinary beauty and sensitivity" ( San Francisco Chronicle ).
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Scribner, 2013.
Edition: 1st Scribner hardcover ed.
ISBN: 9781451641981
9781451641974
Branch Call Number: 616.029 BUT
Characteristics: 322 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.

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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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