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Knocking on heaven's door : the path to a better way of death / Katy Butler.

Cover image for Knocking on heaven's door
ISBN#9781451641974
BIB ID#1664237
Call# 362.175 B

Knocking on heaven's door

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Description
322 pages : ǂb illustrations ; ǂc 22 cm
Summary
"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 struggleto 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 parentsis 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"-- "A blend of memoir and investigation of the choices we face when our terror of death collides with the technological imperatives of modern medicine"--

Reviews and Notes

Summary/Annotation ->  In Knocking on Heaven's Door,award-winning journalist Katy Butler describes in vivid and poetic prose what happened to her family as her parents were moved from a ripe and vigorous old age toward a long and protracted phase of dying. After suffering a stroke at age 78, Butler's father Jeffrey, a retired professor, was left entirely dependent on the care of his wife, Butler's mother. Six years later, with a heartbeat managed by a pacemaker put in by an unthinking cardiologist, Jeff's body had outlived his brain and his wife was exhausted, sick and depleted from nearly a decade of full-time caregiving. When Butler and her mother appeal to doctors, ethicists and lawyers for help getting the pacemaker turned off-allowing Jeff a natural, painless death rather than the extended, diminished life provided by the pacemaker-they are seen as monsters.

Knocking on Heaven's Doordocuments the rebellion brewing against a broken and morally adrift medical system that has morphed from saving lives to prolonging dying. Butler shows how our culture turns to technology to solve the spiritual problem of death, and how we are ignorant of the ancient and modern realities of dying. Knocking on Heaven's Dooris a profoundly moving, expertly researched mediation that will serve as a map for the 78 million baby boomers, caring for elderly parents, facing a medical system that robs death of its sacredness and intensifies its suffering.

Availability

Locationsort iconCall NumberItem TypeVolumeBarcodeStatus
South Jamaica362.175 BAdult Hard Cover0228575802738Due 9-16-2019
South Jamaica362.175 BAdult Hard Cover0228575802720Available
Glen Oaks362.175 BAdult Hard Cover0228569733352Available
Forest Hills362.175 BAdult Hard Cover0228565824999Due 8-24-2019
Central Adult Non-Fiction362.175 BAdult Hard Cover0228553544682Available

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