Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
Medicine and What Matters in the End

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Synopsis

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.
 

About Atul Gawande

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Atul Gawande is the author of Better and Complications, a National Book Award finalist. He is also a MacArthur Fellow, a general surgeon at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. He served as a senior health policy advisor in the Clinton presidential campaign and White House from 1992 to 1993. He received his B.A.S. from Stanford University, M.A. in politics, philosophy and economics from Oxford University, M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health. He lives with his wife and three children in Newton, Massachusetts.
 
Published October 7, 2014 by Metropolitan Books. 300 pages
Genres: Professional & Technical, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Sep 24 2017
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Weeks as Bestseller

Unrated Critic Reviews for Being Mortal

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Gawande uses his father’s powerful story to explore the concept of shared ­decision-making in medicine — the idea that the ideal modern doctor should be neither paternalistic nor informative but rather interpretive, helping patients determine their priorities and achieve them.

Nov 06 2014 | Read Full Review of Being Mortal: Medicine and Wh...

The Wall Street Journal

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A surgeon learns the lesson formulated by Cicely Saunders, the founder of hospice care: ‘Last days need not be lost days.’

Oct 16 2014 | Read Full Review of Being Mortal: Medicine and Wh...

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