WAMU 88.5 : The Diane Rehm Show

Katy Butler: "Knocking On Heaven's Door: The Path To A Better Way Of Death"

Nearly a quarter of Medicare's $550 billion annual budget pays for medical treatment in the last year of life. And almost a third of Medicare patients have surgery in their last month of life. But when people are fully informed about the risks of many life-prolonging procedures, they often decide against them. That's what happened to a woman in Connecticut. After the devastating experiences her husband went through following a stroke, she refused major heart surgery for herself. In a new book, the couple's daughter -- a journalist -- tells their story and offers advice for us all.

Read An Excerpt

Excerpted from KNOCKING ON HEAVEN’S DOOR: The Path to a Better Way of Death by Katy Butler. Copyright © 2013 by Katherine Anne Butler. Excerpted with permission by Scribner, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

WAMU 88.5

Kate Mulgrew: "Born With Teeth" (Rebroadcast)

Kate Mulgrew, who stars as "Red" in the Netflix TV series "Orange Is The New Black", opens up in a new memoir about her complicated family and the baby she gave away for adoption as a young woman.


Swapping The Street For The Orchard, City Dwellers Take Their Pick Of Fruit

Urban foragers don't just pick their meals from the trash; many eat only the finest, freshest produce — picked from city trees. The League of Urban Canners harvests fruit from trees to make jam.

Reconsidering The Pilgrims, Piety And America's Founding Principles

Conservatives who want to emphasize America's Christian roots embrace the story of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower Compact. But some historians say their role in the country's founding is overstated.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

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