When Katy Butler’s father suffered a stroke, medical treatments left him with a life that was almost not worth living. Though he was well cared for and able to see his family everyday, he told Butler at one point that he was simply living too long.
The expansion medical treatments that prolong life has created difficult situations for those at the end of their lives and their families. Pressure from doctors, family members and friends can make choosing to pull the plug on a loved one the most difficult decision anyone can make.
Butler’s book, “Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death” emphasizes everyone’s right to refuse medical treatment and more importantly, to choose for themselves what constitutes a meaningful life.
Katy Butler, journalist who has covered neuroscience, medicine, Buddhism, and human behavior for the New Yorker, The New York Times, Vogue, and the Los Angeles Times and author of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The path to a better way of death”