At the End of Life

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 tackles this conundrum head on. These twenty-two compelling personal-medical narratives explore death, dying and palliative care, and reveal the inner workings of a system in which doctors, patients and their loved ones battle to hang on—and to let go. 

Introduction by Francine Prose.

For more information about the book, its contributors, and end-of-life care news, visit the blog.

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Author Bio

  • Edited by Lee Gutkind
    Lee Gutkind, recognized by Vanity Fair as “the Godfather behind creative nonfiction,” is the founder and editor of Creative Nonfiction, and editor of more than 25 books. He is Distinguished Writer-in-Residence in the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes at Arizona State University and a professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication Gutkind has lectured to audiences around the world—from China to the Czech Republic, from Australia to Africa to Egypt. 
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Table of Contents

  • Editor’s Note: Frank at the Piano

  • Foreword: New Approaches to End-of-Life Care

  • Introduction: Last Days

  • To Morning

  • On Bearing Witness

  • Insights in the Rearview Mirror

  • The General

  • Yellow Taxi

  • Wake-Up Call

  • Simple Gifts

  • Living and Dying Well

  • A Better Place

  • Waiting (to Go Home)

  • Mr. Stone

  • Rules

  • Life and Death and 911

  • Snowing in Krakow

  • Do You Remember

  • The Business of Grief

    Reconsidering our responsibilities to the dead . . . and to ourselves
  • This Is Blood

  • A Figurative Death

  • The Measure of Time

  • The Deep Truth

  • The Resurrection of Wonder Woman

  • Twelve Breaths a Minute