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This book was written because of a pacemaker the size of a pocket watch that had kept Katy Butler's heart beating long after his brain had essentially died. Struck by that ongoing, tragic situation, Butler wrote a New York Times article that evoked reader stories that only redoubled her commitment to research and write a fuller account of medical technologies that are running away with us. Knocking on Heaven's Door describes how modern medical inventions, commerce, and good intentions are prolonging lives long after any real purpose is served. Ann Lamott called this book "some of the most important material I have read in years, and so beautifully written." Editor's recommendation.