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... show more
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.
Publish date: 2014-10-07
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
Pages no: 304
Edition language: English
"...our decision making in medicine has failed so spectacularly that we have reached the point of actively inflicting harm on patients rather than confronting the subject of mortality. ...you live longer only when you stop trying to live longer." - pg 178 I wanted to start with that quote from tod...
Atul Gawande takes on the uncomfortable topics of old age and terminal illness, discussing ways in which medical approaches to these areas have resulted in less-than-optimal experiences for people facing them. In the case of care of the aged, nursing homes grew out of the basic hospital setting...
Working as I do in an integrated Health & Social Care environment, ostensibly geared to working with older citizens, this book had a resounding resonance with my own professional experience. The loss of my grandparents in recent years also bore some of the hallmarks of the tensions alluded to by Gaw...
Great great book about end-of-life care, elder care, and the limitations of modern medicine. This is a must read for everyone.
[11/3/2015]Compelling and important.I really enjoyed this book. It may sound strange to "enjoy" a book about dying, but it was very engrossing. It deals with issues that have a lot of meaning for me, since I've lost three close family members in the last eight years and for each of them I was resp...