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The Art of Dying Well : A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life
by Katy Butler




Overview -
A reassuring and thoroughly researched guide to maintaining a high quality of life--from resilient old age to the first inklings of a serious illness to the final breath--by the New York Times bestselling author of Knocking on Heaven's Door.

The Art of Dying Well is about living as well as possible for as long as possible and adapting successfully to change. Packed with extraordinarily helpful insights and inspiring true stories, award-winning journalist and prominent end-of-life speaker Katy Butler shows how to thrive in later life (even when coping with a chronic medical condition), how to get the best from our health system, and how to make your own "good death" more likely. This handbook of step by step preparations--practical, communal, physical, and sometimes spiritual--will help you make the most of your remaining time, be it decades, years, or months.

Butler explains how to successfully age in place, why to pick a younger doctor and how to have an honest conversation with her, when not to call 911, and how to make your death a sacred rite of passage rather than a medical event.

This down-to-earth manual for living, aging, and dying with meaning and even joy is based on Butler's own experience caring for aging parents, as well as hundreds of interviews with people who have successfully navigated a fragmented health system and helped their loved ones have good deaths. It also draws on interviews with nationally recognized experts in family medicine, palliative care, geriatrics, oncology, hospice, and other medical specialties. Inspired by the medieval death manual Ars Moriendi, or the Art of Dying, The Art of Dying Well is the definitive update for our modern age, and illuminates the path to a better end of life.

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More About The Art of Dying Well by Katy Butler

 
 
 

Overview

A reassuring and thoroughly researched guide to maintaining a high quality of life--from resilient old age to the first inklings of a serious illness to the final breath--by the New York Times bestselling author of Knocking on Heaven's Door.

The Art of Dying Well is about living as well as possible for as long as possible and adapting successfully to change. Packed with extraordinarily helpful insights and inspiring true stories, award-winning journalist and prominent end-of-life speaker Katy Butler shows how to thrive in later life (even when coping with a chronic medical condition), how to get the best from our health system, and how to make your own "good death" more likely. This handbook of step by step preparations--practical, communal, physical, and sometimes spiritual--will help you make the most of your remaining time, be it decades, years, or months.

Butler explains how to successfully age in place, why to pick a younger doctor and how to have an honest conversation with her, when not to call 911, and how to make your death a sacred rite of passage rather than a medical event.

This down-to-earth manual for living, aging, and dying with meaning and even joy is based on Butler's own experience caring for aging parents, as well as hundreds of interviews with people who have successfully navigated a fragmented health system and helped their loved ones have good deaths. It also draws on interviews with nationally recognized experts in family medicine, palliative care, geriatrics, oncology, hospice, and other medical specialties. Inspired by the medieval death manual Ars Moriendi, or the Art of Dying, The Art of Dying Well is the definitive update for our modern age, and illuminates the path to a better end of life.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781501135316
  • ISBN-10: 1501135317
  • Publisher: Scribner Book Company
  • Publish Date: February 2019
  • Page Count: 288
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.05 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

The Art of Dying Well

Journalist Katy Butler first wrote about death in her 2013 memoir, Knocking on Heaven’s Door, which charted the decline and death of her father. Six years later, she offers a tremendously helpful follow-up, The Art of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life. This substantial book, written for the aging and those who love them, offers a stage-by-stage look at the path toward death.

It might not seem like fun reading, but the salience of the topic is undeniable: Seventy-five percent of Americans want to die at home, but fewer than 33 percent do so. Butler points out that basic documentation can ensure a patient’s end-of-life medical intentions, yet more than 70 percent of us haven’t filled out the paperwork. Cultural conversations overvalue dramatic medical interventions that traumatize both the dying and those who love them. Butler writes, “There is a way to a peaceful, empowered, humane death, even in an era of high-technology medicine.” She goes on to offer a road map for the journey. Organized into seven chapters that begin with “Resilience” and end with “Active Dying,” Butler’s book is a nuts-and-bolts guide to supporting ourselves and each other through the final stages of life. For her, the path toward a good death begins years in advance, and no detail is too small.

For most of us, the shift toward death is invisible, frightening and largely idiosyncratic to our own circumstances. What Butler offers here is an overview of the terrain and helpful commentary about empowering, meaningful actions for people in a wide range of circumstances. If you are aging or love someone who is, this is a book to add to your list.

 

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