What should medicine do when it can’t save your life?
The modern healthcare system has become proficient at staving off death with aggressive interventions. And yet, eventually everyone dies—and although most Americans say they would prefer to die peacefully at home, more than half of all deaths take place in hospitals or health care facilities.
At the End of Life—the latest collaborative book project between the Creative Nonfiction Foundation and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation—tackles this conundrum head on. Featuring twenty-two compelling personal-medical narratives, the collection explores death, dying and palliative care, and highlights current features, flaws and advances in the healthcare system.
Here, a poet and former hospice worker reflects on death’s mysteries; a son wanders the halls of his mother’s nursing home, lost in the small absurdities of the place; a grief counselor struggles with losing his own grandfather; a medical intern traces the origins and meaning of time; a mother anguishes over her decision to turn off her daughter’s life support and allow her organs to be harvested; and a nurse remembers many of her former patients.
These original, compelling personal narratives reveal the inner workings of hospitals, homes and hospices where patients, their doctors and their loved ones all battle to hang on—and to let go.
|Publisher:||Fourth Chapter Books|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||460 KB|
About the Author
Francine Prose is a literary critic and author whose nonfiction works include Reading Like a Writer and biographical profiles including Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife and The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women and the Artists They Inspired. She has also written 12 novels, including My New American Life, Touch, and the National Book Award finalist Blue Angel. Prose is the president of the PEN American Center, and a Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College.
Table of Contents
Editor's Note: Frank at the Piano vii
Foreword: New Approaches to End-of-Life Care Karen Wolk Feinstein xi
Introduction: Last Days Francine Prose xv
To Morning Anne Jacobson 1
On Bearing Witness Laurie Foos 9
Insights in the Rearview Mirror Phyllis Galley Westover 23
The General Larry D. Cripe 37
Yellow Taxi Eve Joseph 51
Wake-Up Call Catherine A. Musemeche 63
Simple Gifts Beecher Grogan 73
Living and Dying Well Therse Zink 85
A Better Place Valerie Seiling Jacobs 95
Waiting (to Go Home) Howard Mansfield 107
Mr. Stone Diana Flescher 119
Rules Maria Meindl 131
Life and Death and 911 Caroline Burau 145
Snowing in Krakow Marcin Chwistek 152
Do You Remember? Patricia Mccarthy 165
The Business of Grief Joe Primo 177
This Is Blood Sandelll Morse 187
A Figurative Death Caroal Cooley 199
The Measure of Time Amanda J. Redig 209
The Deep Truth Eugenia Smith 219
The Resurrectionof Wonder Woman Eleanor Vincent 233
Twelve Breaths a Minute Gulchina A. Ergun 247
What People are Saying About This
"This is an encouraging collection—not only in a very literal sense but also in the help it offers us in thinking about death, how clear it makes our lack of control over death (and so over life). The book is crammed with stories of parents, children, long-time patients, emergency cases, complete strangers. The dying are young, old, middle-aged, and, variously, brave, grumpy, accepting, difficult, defiant. The family and friends, doctors, nurses, EMTs, and chaplains who accompany them have a lot to say about what they’ve observed and learned and resolved to change. This is a valuable contribution to our store of works in the Medical Humanities that will likely cause both medical students and doctors to ponder new ways of dealing with their dying patients.” — Kathryn Montgomery, author of Doctors’ Stories and How Doctors Think
"A gripping and passionate account of how we face the final rite of passage. These stories mine the agility of the human spirit, and will not easily be forgotten." — Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD, author of Medicine in Translation and Singular Intimacies
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A wide variety of perspectives, effectively framed.