Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Atul Gawande
In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its endingMedicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession’s ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person's last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.


Reviewed: 2020-02-14
Uncomfortable at times, but gripping. Death is coming and doctors cannot stop it. So what to do while you wait? End of life and quality of life are explored in a very personal and easy to digest way. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
Reviewed: 2019-04-13
A doctor's perspective regarding the aging process, serious illness, long term care, and living facilities for aging adults. Doctors are trained to offer hope, solutions, and are rarely prepared to offer the reality of treatment for cancer or other debilitating diseases. At acknowledges that better options should be made available for the elderly who are no longer able to live alone. He showcases retirement communities that allow seniors to remain independent while receiving the care that they need.
Reviewed: 2019-01-12
Reviewed: 2018-04-04

One of the best books I've had the pleasure of reading. It really made me think about my own mortality, and about how we treat the aging and infirm.  I think anyone who reads this will come away better for it. 

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