Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
Being Mortal Medicine and What Matters in the End Author:Atul Gawande 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 ... more »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.« less
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Bonnie H. reviewed Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End on
Helpful Score: 2
This book was well written and easily understood. It deals with people needing medical/emotional care, and includes reasons why people don't want to go to assisted living facilities or nursing homes. It really helped me understand some unknown things to look for when I helped locate an assisted living apartment for a friend of mine who had dementia. I read it at the perfect time (for my friend), so it would be a good read for children with aging parents, and really, for everyone. It also deals with end of life decisions.
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Harvard professor and surgeon Atul Gawande takes on the conversation we so often avoid the one about choices at the end of life. Writing with knowledge and compassion, he takes on different aspects of end of life care - nursing homes, hospice care, the role of medicine, the role of family, and individual choice. The book presents research and history and grounds the ideas through case studies. I would highly recommend this book to everyone.
Read my complete review at: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2014/12/being-mortal-medicine-and-what-matters.html
This is another book club recommendation and I found it so pertinent to our times. The first chapters were (mistakenly) taken as a condemnation of the decision to place elderly parents in assisted living. Then the author gave a history of "nursing homes" and what end-of-life situations were before the growth of the assisted living possibility.I found it to be an affirmation that these difficult decisons we make for others are nothing new, but our options now are an improvement over 50 to 100 years ago. The final chapters were a guide (from his personal experience) to talking with family concerning end of life expectations.
I would not describe this as a fun read, but think it would be a benefit if a family member is brave enough approach the topic.