Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

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Henry Holt and Company, Oct 7, 2014 - Social Science - 304 pages
3684 Reviews


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 ending

Medicine 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.

 

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Review: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

User Review  - Donna - Goodreads

This book written by a doctor about aging, end of life, the hospital and care industry is riveting. He tells the stories of his patients and their end of life stories and decisions. He also tells the ... Read full review

Review: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

User Review  - Catherine Sarkisian - Goodreads

Since I am a geriatrician I mistakenly thought I already knew most of what this book was going to say but I was wrong - not only does AG so beautifully articulate things I already have thought ... Read full review

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About the author (2014)


Atul Gawande is author of three bestselling books: Complications, a finalist for the National Book Award; Better, selected by Amazon as one of the ten best books of 2007; and The Checklist Manifesto. His latest book is Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. He is also a surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. He has won the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science, a MacArthur Fellowship, and two National Magazine Awards. In his work in public health, he is Executive Director of Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation, and chairman of Lifebox, a nonprofit organization making surgery safer globally. He and his wife have three children and live in Newton, Massachusetts.

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