Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
Being Mortal Medicine and What Matters in the End Author:Atul Gawande Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming the dangers of childbirth, injury, and disease from harrowing to manageable. But when it comes to the inescapable realities of aging and death, what medicine can do often runs counter to what it should. — Through eye-opening research and gripping stories of his own patients and family, Gawande ... more »reveals the suffering this dynamic has produced. Nursing homes, devoted above all to safety, battle with residents over the food they are allowed to eat and the choices they are allowed to make. Doctors, uncomfortable discussing patients' anxieties about death, fall back on false hopes and treatments that are actually shortening lives instead of improving them.
In his bestselling books, Atul Gawande, a practicing surgeon, has fearlessly revealed the struggles of his profession. Now he examines its ultimate limitations and failures -- in his own practices as well as others'-as life draws to a close. Riveting, honest, and humane, Being Mortal shows how the ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life -- all the way to the very end.« less
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.