Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

In Being Mortal, 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.

Title:Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780805095159
Format Type:

    Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End Reviews

  • Will Byrnes

    (Added a link - 4/18/15 - at bottom) In the past few decades, medical science has rendered obsolete centuries of experience, tradition, and language about our mortality and created a new difficulty...

  • 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 ...

  • 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...

  • Petra-masx

    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 som...

  • Elyse  Walters

    Update: $3.99 kindle download today. If you missed this book… And I can’t imagine that many people have missed reading it..... it’s an extraordinary book to read. I’ve been a fan of Atul Gawan...

  • Bionic Jean

    I read this book a fortnight ago, by my brother's bedside, at a time when both he and I knew he was dying. Any book one reads in such a situation has to be absorbing, perceptive and worth the read. Th...

  • Yun

    Being Mortal tackles the all too uncomfortable subject of mortality, and what it means to live and die well in life's last moments. In our modern world of medicine and technology, hospitals and doctor...

  • Debbie

    If you’re not afraid of dying, you’re either lucky or lying.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 brai...

  • 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 acc...

  • Debbie

    This is probably the most important book on mortality I've ever read. It is packed full of information and written in easily comprehendible language, in fact, very personal language. There is so much ...