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 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
In the past few decades, medical science has rendered obsolete centuries of experience, tradition, and language about our mortality and created a new difficulty for mankind: how to die.Being Mortal is completely irrelevant for any readers who do not have elderly relations, do not know anyone who is old or in failing health, and do not themselves expect to become old. Otherwise, this is must-read stuff. Life may be a journey, but all our roads, however lon ...more
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: https://www.goo ...more
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 t ...more
"We know less and less about our patients but more and more about science."
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 ...more
For me, the most eye-opening and useful parts of the book are those comparing the different types of care that someone can receive ...more
Meanwhile, this book gave me the heebee-jeebees! Did I really need to know that as I age my aorta will get crunchy and my shrinking brain will rattle around in my skull? Or did I need to know (and perhaps forever visualize) the disgusting details of the downhill spiral of my teeth and feet, and what I’ll have to show for them? Don't worry, the author does not dwell on these things, but I do! And, oh, how I hope I'm not one of the 40% (! ...more
First, this book looks at nursing homes and the rise and fall of assisted living. You may think, what? We have assisted living. But, for a short time af ...more
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 about a woman with an itch—an itch so strong, so persistent, it was beyond belief. It stumped all of her doctors. Medications didn't work. MRIs and nerve tests revealed nothing conclusive. One night, the woman woke up to fluid dripping down her face. As if in some B-horror movie, Gawande eventually re ...more
“We’ve been wrong about what our job is in medicine. We think our job is to ensure health and survival. But really it is larger than that. It is to enable well-being.”
★ During one of my latest classes, the instructor divided us into groups and gave us controversial topics to discuss. My group discussed Euthanasia and although this book does not discuss that. It focuses on some of the subjects that we approached that day such as the end of ...more
I had even checked out the book from the library several times, read a page or two, and then promptly returned it, thinking I would try again at some undetermined date, when I was a more evolved human being and better able to cope with illness and death and dying. (Future-Diane is very assertive and poised, apparently.)
But this boo ...more
The writing is clear, and concise, the information extensive but not at all confusing. The people whose life's are presented are treated as real peo ...more
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
The final words in this title What Matters in the End could as easily be a statement as a question and sets the theme for this exploration of living and dying. Mortal we are and yet its hard to embrace this concept especially when we are closer to our end than at its beginning. It may be true that we do not know when we’re going to die but frankly some of us know it will be sooner than later. We plan for so many things in our l ...more
Depressing but important and informative, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End is about th ...more
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 ...more
There are some superb reviews of the book here on Goodreads. Rather than writing one myself I will just point you to David's marvellous review....
I will also point out an excellent and moving film on Atul Gawande, and his w ...more
Being Mortal is a meditation on how people can better live with age-related frailty, serious illness, and approaching death. Gawande calls for a change in the way that medical professionals treat patients approaching their ends. He recommends that instead of focusing on survival, practitioners should work to improve quality of life and enable well-being. Gawande shares personal stories of his patients' and his own relatives' experie ...more
- Doctors fix. If they can't fix, they often still try to do something. That's why they became doctors & have encyclopedic amounts of knowledge. Medicine has com ...more
Yet while Being Mortal made me regret the conversations I didn't have with my mom, I also came away feeling optimistic about the possibility for much-needed change in the way we think about age and dying in our culture.
Gawande is an influential author, journalist, researcher ...more
Growing up every time we drove by the nursing home my grandma would say a prayer. I never understood “nev ...more
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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 ...more