The U.S. hospital embodies society’s hope for itself—a technological bastion standing between us and death. What does the gold standard of rescue, as ideology and industry, mean for the dying patient in the hospital and for the status of dying in American culture? This book shows how dying is a management problem for hospitals, occupying space but few billable encounters and of little interest to medical practice or quality control. An anthropologist and bioethicist with two decades of professional nursing experience, Helen Chapple goes beyond current work on hospital care to present fine-grained accounts of the clinicians, patients, and families who navigate this uncharted, untidy, and unpredictable territory between the highly choreographed project of rescue and the clinical culmination of death. This book and its important social and policy implications make key contributions to the social science of medicine, nursing, hospital administration, and health care delivery fields.