Modern medical technology has lengthened our lives and forever altered how we face our deaths--but it has also created painful dilemmas that lawyers, doctors, spiritual leaders, and, above all, patients and their families are struggling with every day. Now, in this sweeping yet intimate report on death in America, Marilyn Webb has written the one essential book we all need to understand and deal with these new realities. Drawing on more than four years of first-hand research and observation, Webb combines a journalist's objectivity with a passionate advocacy for people in pain. She has sat with dozens of dying patients--in high-tech teaching hospitals, in hospices, and in their homes. She has interviewed and worked with the leading legal experts and medical ethicists, pain specialists and psychologists, priests and spiritual counselors, as well as both advocates of assisted suicide and their determined opponents.