Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

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, Atul Gawande, a practicing surgeon, 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, Gawande 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.

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 f...

  • 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...

  • P-eggy

    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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Genevieve

    * Originally reviewed on the Night Owls Press blog here. *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 ab...

  • 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 ...

  • Holly

    Depressing, but necessary to consider and talk about. What's the one unfortunate thing everyone on this planet has in common right now? We will all eventually die one day. So knowing that eventuality,...