Sunday, June 28, 2015

Knocking on Heaven's Door

By Katie Butler

Butler and Her Parents

This is an honest, sobering look at what awaits so many elderly people and their caregivers, who are often family members.  It is also the story of a Medical-Industrial Complex gone wild:  doing things to people for economic gain.  Expensive procedures that have serious unintended consequences are, unfortunately, the rule.  For a variety of reasons, many physicians perform lucrative tests and interventions that do little to improve patients’ well-being.  Death is seen as the ultimate enemy, yet we all will die.  How one dies is important, yet this is not considered often enough.

Knocking on Heaven’s Door is the story of a singular family.  All families are unique.  The narrative is memorable, but there is much more.  Butler discusses American medicine and its domination of patients and families, and suggests ways we as patients and family members can try to protect ourselves.  It is also a wake-up call for physicians to try to change our behaviors from running profit centers to being caregivers in the true sense of the word.
These notes may help some of you who are too busy to read the entire book, however, should you do so, you will find much more to interest you.  I learned a lot by a fairly careful reading of Katy Butler’s book, much that will help me as a son, a caregiver and a physician.