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Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

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
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ISBN : 9780805095159
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 282 pages
Url Type : Home » Being » Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Being Mortal Atul Gawande Being Mortal Medicine and What Matters in the End and humane, Being Mortal shows that the ultimate goal is not a good death but all the way to the very end. Being Mortal Medicine and What Matters in the End Buy Being Mortal Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande ISBN from s Book Store Everyday low prices and free delivery on Being Mortal Medicine What Matters in the End by We have exalted longevity over what makes life worth living GP Gavin Francis salutes a moving exploration of illness and death Atul Gawande s Being Mortal The New York Times BEING MORTAL Medicine and What Matters in the End By Atul Gawande pp Metropolitan Books Henry Holt Company . Being Mortal Medicine and What Matters in the End Summary Being Mortal By Atul Gawande Medicine and What Matters in the End Chapter by Chapter Summary Being Mortal Chapter by Chapter Summary Book, Paperback, Hardcover, Summary Book Being Mortal Medicine and What Matters in the End The Paperback of the Being Mortal Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande at Barnes Noble FREE Shipping on or Being Mortal , by Atul Gawande The New York Times Atul Gawande s Being Mortal Medicine and What Matters in the End introduces its author as a myopically confident medical school student whose seminar Being Mortal Medicine and What Matters in the End The author of Being Mortal Medicine and What Matters in the End is Atul Gawande He is an eminent American surgeon and author, who conducts research into public h Being Mortal Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End Being Mortal Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End Atul Gawande on FREE shipping on qualifying offers 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 Being Mortal Quotes by Atul Gawande Goodreads quotes from Being Mortal Medicine and What Matters in the End In the end, people don t view their life as merely the average of all its moments wh

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End Reviews

  • Petra X

    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 sometimes.

  • Trish

    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

    "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 years old. She would often say, looking at the younger generations, "It’s wonderful to get old." Gawande touches on this in his memoir chronicling the death of his father and in his discussion of dying well. Older folks have more moments they classify as happy than do younger folks. Oldsters generally experience less anxiety, too, perhaps from having “seen it all before,” but perhaps also because they know bad times do pass. Usually.

    I still think my great aunt was being just a little facetious, since the rest of Gawande’s book tells us pretty explicitly that old age is not for wimps. In fact, as Elizabeth Gilbert suggested in her novel The Signature of All Things, we do better when we turn towards “the great changes that life brings” rather than turn our wills away. Gawande tells us how it is possible in some cases to choose less treatment rather than more when faced with life-threatening illness and experience a better quality of life in our final days.

    This is pretty grim stuff but Gawande is graceful, as graceful as he can be when the choices are so limited and so frankly horrible. When a loved one (or we ourselves) must make choices, it is wise, he counsels, to ask ourselves a few questions: What do we fear most? What do we want most to be able to do? What can/can’t we live without? What will we sacrifice so that we can accomplish what it is we want? Our choices may change as circumstances change, so one has to revisit occasionally, to make sure we (and our family and our doctors) are proceeding along the path we have chosen for ourselves.

    It is almost, but perhaps not quite, enough to make one wish for a sudden, early death. We all must go through it, so we’re not alone. It’s just that medical knowledge, technology, and skill can do only so much, and after that we still have to face the inevitable. Gawande gives lots of examples of patients and of people he has known who have these choices thrust upon them. On balance, he concludes, those who accept, rather than thoughtlessly fight, a terminal prognosis have a better death.

    This book is worth reading, maybe more so before you need it. Filling out the hospital’s required “health care directive” is actually difficult unless you have someone like this to explain what it actually means. No intervention may mean weeks instead of months; it may also mean calm instead of recovering from radical surgery. It may just be unbearably depressing. I get that.

    One interesting study Gawande talks about is one in which people who know their time horizons are short, or who experience life-threatening conditions (e.g., living in a war zone, 9/11, surviving a tsunami) change their view of what they want out of life, their "hierarchy of needs" as defined by Maslow. People with unlimited horizons put a high premium on growth and meeting people who are interesting and influential. Those with foreshortened horizons look to their closest friends and family for sustenance and comfort. War zones may not grant you friends or family, but certainly intense, highly-charged, and memorable relationships result from them. Little is expected, much is granted. And I guess that is key. There is more generosity to go around when one is in the final days and it may be best not to occlude that blessing with a confusion of treatments that do not mean a better life.

    Gawande addresses some of the most difficult questions we have to decide in a lifetime. It is not easy to read. But it helps, I think, to know what choices we can make when the time comes for someone we love or for ourselves.


    Months later.

    I have been thinking about the first quote I put at the beginning of my review since I read it. I wonder if that is not quite right. It is not mortality that is a horror if one is not part of a larger group. It is life itself. ...more

  • Michael

    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 accessible books on the human art behind the science of medicine with his “Complications” and “Better”. He is a master at using stories of his cases to address disparities between our expectations and the reality of medical practice and drawing on diverse research to advocate for needed changes. Here h ...more

  • Caroline

    ***NO SPOILERS***

    The average lifespan of human beings today is around age 80, which means Being Mortal is an essential read for everyone. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S., and that also makes Being Mortal an essential read for everyone. Even if someone isn’t affected by the infirmities of old age or by cancer, at some point she’ll likely know at least one person who is. Whatever the case, everyone dies eventually, and everyone should be properly prepared to possibly make s

  • Josh

    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

  • Elyse

    I've been a fan of Atul Gawande since reading "Complications" with my local book club many years back --where 35 people showed up to 'express'.

    Our monthly Saturday's meetings are limited to 25 members of our 500+ Bay Area Book club --but members were didn't care --they were coming! After finding extra chairs --we sat down for one of the most emotionally-connected-book club discussion to date.

    There must already be at least 1,000 4 and 5 star reviews on Amazon --and it that does not speak for it

  • Lilo

    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 this might apply), I urge you to read this book. And if you happen to be over 50 (or care about someone over 50), read this book now.--You heard me. I said NOW!

    For more detailed evaluations and descriptions of this book, I recommend to read the following reviews:

    Will Byrnes's review:

  • aPriL does feral sometimes

    Many people avoid the subject of what should be done when the elders in their family become too frail or sick or demented to live by themselves or if a family member, whether old or young, is told they have a fatal disease such as cancer. When such news happens, and it will happen, the fraught, sometimes guilty, sometimes extremely distressed, yelling and arguing which follows the diagnosis can produce wrong incompetent rushed decisions that can lead to lifelong regrets and self-recriminations w ...more