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

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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.

Title:Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
Edition Language:English
ISBN:0805095152
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:282 pages

    Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End Reviews

  • Will Byrnes
    May 03, 2015

    (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 f...

  • Lilo
    Sep 24, 2016

    This is going to be a very short review. I just simply say:If you think you might get older as time goes by and/or think you might even die at some time (or have relatives or other loved ones to whom ...

  • Trish
    Apr 18, 2015

    ?The only way death is not meaningless is to see yourself as part of something greater: a family, a community, a society. If you don?t, mortality is only a horror.?My great aunt lived to be 102 ...

  • Genevieve
    Jun 20, 2015

    * Originally reviewed on the Night Owls Press blog here. *I was first introduced to Atul Gawande's writing in his "Annals of Medicine" column for The New Yorker magazine. He wrote a thrilling piece ab...

  • Michael
    Aug 22, 2015

    A clear, uplifting, and eloquent education on the deficiencies of the medical establishment in end-of-life care and promising progress toward improvements. This Boston surgeon has already authored acc...

  • Debbie
    Dec 24, 2014

    This is probably the most important book on mortality I've ever read. It is packed full of information and written in easily comprehendible language, in fact, very personal language. There is so much ...

  • Petra Eggs
    Dec 22, 2015

    This is brilliant. I'm having a good run of 5* books at the moment. Atul Gawande refers several times to The Death of Ivan Ilych so now I have to read that. I like it how one book leads to another som...

  • Jen
    Jul 27, 2015

    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 sho...

  • Diane
    Jun 10, 2015

    It took me months to find the courage to read this. I know it is silly to be scared of a book, but the topic of mortality is so depressing that I dreaded reading it. I had even checked out the book fr...

  • David
    Nov 03, 2015

    This excellent book is about how medicine treats patients as their lives come to an end. Today, Western medicine is all about keeping the patient alive, no matter the cost. The problem is that all too...