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 extends 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....
|Title||:||Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End|
|Number of Pages||:||282 pages|
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Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End Reviews
10/27/17 The most remarkable discussion of this book takes place between Atul Gawande and Kristin Tippett in the 10/26/17 podcast posted on the OnBeing website. In the discussion we learn that Gawande went to medicine through politics which may not surprise some of you. I had a radical insight as I listened: that doctors, by oath, are meant to provide life-giving care to rich and poor alike, without discrimination. Does that lead almost directly to the discussion about whether healthcare is a ri ...more
An essential guide to decision-making about end-of-life care, but also a more philosophical treatment of the question of what makes life worth living. When should we extend life, and when should we concentrate more on the quality of our remaining days than their quantity? Most of the book weighs the plight of the elderly (it’s not just grim nursing homes out there), but there are also plenty of illustrative cases about the terminally ill. The “Letting Go” chapter is among the best; it grew out o ...more
Simply put: This is a book about dying. But, on one's own terms. Gawande boldy argues that the medical world has got it wrong when it comes to the treatment of the dying. The objective of medicine should not be to ensure health and survival; rather it should be about the quality of life and what it means to die with dignity, a sense of purpose, and most importantly, control over one's life. It's about being able to write the final chapter the way you want to and to enable well-being in the sense ...more
(Added a link - 4/18/15 - at bottom)
In the past few decades, medical science has rendered obsolete centuries of experience, tradition, and language about our mortality and created a new difficulty for mankind: how to die.Being Mortal is completely irrelevant for any readers who do not have elderly relations, do not know anyone who is old or in failing health, and do not themselves expect to become old. Otherwise, this is must-read stuff. Life may be a journey, but all our roads, however long ...more
This is a brilliant, fascinating, and extremely important book. I wish I had read it before my mother died because I would have asked her more probing questions about her priorities in the last couple of months of her life.
Yet while Being Mortal made me regret the conversations I didn't have with my mom, I also came away feeling optimistic about the possibility for much-needed change in the way we think about age and dying in our culture.
Gawande is an influential author, journalist, researcher ...more
As I sit here at work, basically doing nothing but typing this review and speaking to my fiancé on Microsoft Lync, I am drinking a cup of coffee and wondering about my mortality. Yes, I admit, I usually think of it more than once a day, sometimes twice a day, but never 4.5 times a day because that’s actually impossible.
When reading Gawande’s ‘Being Mortal’, I found myself not questioning my own life, but many others; he exposed a sense of compassion in this misanthropic heart and how the geriat ...more
Anyone who is planning on dying some day should read this book.
It can be jumpy at times, but overall, Gawande's a straight shooting, no-nonsense writer who gives the straight dope on nursing homes, assisted living, hospice, and the heart-rending decisions we are all forced into at our end-of-days.
As many of his accounts deal with cancer cases, it's a bit of a downer, but it's medicine to be taken and there's no better way to illustrate his point than through real-life examples, including his o ...more
This book is excellent. It’s accessible and always interesting. It’s one of those books that probably everybody should read. I’m thinking every physician should read it upon graduating from medical school or during their residency. I think that it’s an important book.
I do disagree with him at times, though overall think what he says is spot on.
The parts where I disagree are in two major areas: The main one is his reluctance about supporting widespread assisted suicide because he says in those pl ...more