Books | Social Science / Death & Dying
#1 New York Times BestsellerIn 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.
Henry Holt and Company
Community ReviewsSee all
"This book is so informative on the process of aging and mortality. I loved this book and urge everyone to read it. It’s heart wrenching and will give you a different perspective on how we deal with the aging process and death as a family, a culture and also as health providers. I’ve read other books from Atul Gawande. He is a brilliant surgeon and an amazing writer. This book was hard to read but I was unable to stop turning the pages. "
"As a healthcare worker, this book brought up difficult decisions that I see every day being left too long. Americans are uncomfortable with illness and death, but we would be better served to talk about it BEFORE putting our loved ones in positions to make decisions. "
"This was deeply thought provoking and emotional. The anecdotes hit home, especially for my parents and older fam members. The logic made sense though it was not a matter I was well versed in, nor would I have been able to articulate the issues of lack of autonomy and purpose later in life. The solutions explored made me hopeful for the future of elder care. "