Knocking on Heaven's Door

Knocking on Heaven's Door

The Path to A Better Way of Death

Book - 2013
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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.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2013
Edition: 1st Scribner hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781451641974
Branch Call Number: 616.029 BUT NVD
Characteristics: 322 p. ; 22 cm


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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.

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

Dec 27, 2013

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

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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