Being Mortal by 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.

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“Atul Gawande is a major voice in nonfiction, medicine, and healthcare, who tackles everything from spinal surgeries to planning health benefits for major employers like Amazon and Google. Being Mortal, by contrast, has none of the big-shot pretense of these endeavors. It’s a sombre, humane reflection on the hubris embedded in the medical profession, and how our modern Western society ignores aging and death. Gawande is at once clinical and personal, to powerful effect. I first read this when struggling with a personal loss, but was surprised when this book to raised questions and thoughts I didn’t quite know how to articulate. A great read for all of us mortals grappling with our humanity.”

– Julia

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#1 New York Times Bestseller

Through eye-opening research and gripping stories of his own patients and family, Gawande 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. And families go along with all of it.

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.

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
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