(AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
Alan: It is not only necessary but just and good to distinguish between "prolonging life" and "prolonging death."
Audio File at http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2013-12-30/katy-butler-knocking-heavens-door-path-better-way-death-rebroadcast
Nearly a quarter of Medicare's $550 billion annual budget pays for medical treatment in the last year of life. And almost a third of Medicare patients have surgery in their last month of life. But when people are fully informed about the risks of many life-prolonging procedures, they often decide against them. That's what happened to a woman in Connecticut. After the devastating experiences her husband went through following a stroke, she refused major heart surgery for herself. In a new book, the couple's daughter -- a journalist -- tells their story and offers advice for us all.
journalist whose articles have appeared in The New Yorker, The Best American Science Writing, The Best American Essays and The Best Buddhist Writing.
Read An Excerpt
Excerpted from KNOCKING ON HEAVEN’S DOOR: The Path to a Better Way of Death by Katy Butler. Copyright © 2013 by Katherine Anne Butler. Excerpted with permission by Scribner, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.