529 Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The New Art of Dying
Saturday Afternoon Only
Never before in history has medicine resisted death so fiercely, and made it so painful. . . .
As those we love decline, we find ourselves confronting a broken and spiritually adrift medical system that’s morphed from saving lives to prolonging dying. As a result, family members may find themselves in intense psychological binds--rebelling against doctors who won’t quit, unsure of how to “do the right thing,” and facing the wrenching loss of someone they love. This workshop will provide the beginnings of a roadmap through this modern labyrinth. We’ll discuss the psychological tasks and growth points facing families; the financial incentives promoting the medical “cure” at the expense of medical “care”; whether we need to adopt “slow medicine” and “decision-coaching” approaches to medical options; and how to develop a new “art of dying,” drawing on Buddhism and other traditional resources, that can help restore sacredness to life, death, loss and suffering.Katy Butler, M.A.,
’s features editor, wrote “My Father’s Broken Heart: How a Pacemaker Wrecked Our Family,” which appeared in The New York Times Magazine.
It described her parents’ deaths and reported on the perverse financial incentives fueling late-life medical overtreatment.