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Publisher's Summary

At Death’s Door: End of Life Stories from the Bedside tells the powerful story of Sebastian Sepulveda’s experiences in working with patients at the end of their lives. In some cases, death came quickly, after the patient was first diagnosed with a terminal condition and entered the hospital. In other cases, patients had a long, progressive illness that got increasingly worse over the months or years until they were in their final days. In some cases, patients were able to fight off death for many years. Hard decisions are often made - whether to resuscitate or not, whether to choose hospice or not, who makes the decisions when a patient cannot, and whose decision to follow when several family members are involved in decision making. Written from the perspective of a medical doctor from years of experience, this personal approach to the end of life explores the many options available to patients and their families and reveals how real people have come to those decisions, and how they play out. With insight and sensitivity, Sepulveda offers families an important window into how life can end with compassion, care, control, and dignity.
At Death’s Door features over 50 stories drawn from Sepulveda’s experience as a doctor dealing with these patients and families. As states debate the legality of assisted suicide and other end-of-life rights, real people make real decisions every day regarding end of life. Their stories come to life here, and listeners with similar concerns will find relief, comfort, and company as they face these decisions themselves.
©2017 Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (P)2017 Beacon Audiobooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Gillian on 03-25-18

Gosh, What A Jerk...!

Generally, I have more thoughtful titles for my reviews, but I guess I'm just overwhelmed after almost 11 hours of Sepulveda browbeating patients into signing DNRs and DNIs. He whines, he moans, at times he shows outright contempt for the feelings of his patients. If someone goes into the hospital for a hurt toe, he's cramming a DNR decision down the person's throat if they have underlying medical conditions which he deems make their lives worthless.
Don't get me wrong: I'm a huuuuuge fan of DNRs and do NOT want heroic measures taken on my behalf should I find myself in certain situations, and I can understand why his constant experience with death makes him more realistic than your average person, but he is judge, jury, and at times the mild executioner (Comfort Care at the end of life) and he frowns upon human frailty. Add to this his constant refrain of: They brought it on themselves (tobacco use! obesity! should own up to memory glitches IMMEDIATELY! wasn't wearing a helmet! parties too much!) and you're in for almost 11 hours of unmitigated wretchedness. Plus, May as a narrator delivers it in imperious tones with galling inflections and shotgun emphasis here and there.
No insight, no inspiration, no empathy.
Yes, I want my credit back, but as Sepulveda just pointed out, life is too short, and I want my time back!

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