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Insightful and informative look at the business of aging and medical interventions, and how it can and should be reformed. I was already familiar with some of the innovations and services as well as the need for reform, but was grateful for the candid and thoughtful review in this book. Must read for anyone entering any health profession. I required my students to listen to Dr. Gawande's interview on NPR, but wish I had read the book earlier, as I would have made it required reading in my courses.
Insightful, inspiring and highly useful perspective about how the current system of care for elders and the terminally ill evolved in housing and medicine: retirement communities and assisted living, gerontology and hospice. Great storytelling illuminates why the system is mostly dehumanizing, but sometimes asking the right questions, and prioritizing *living* over safety can lead to better quality of life and medical outcomes.
This book should be a must read for every physician practicing medicine. Focus needs to change to the wishes of the patient, not the interest in pills and surgeries. Some of us do not wish to be saved! Rather, a natural death is desired. The author recognizes this and closes his book with these thoughts of concern after his review of different lives.
Gawande presents a compelling case against the treatment-at-any-cost philosophy of medicine. In our quest to prolong life, we do not adequately address age-related frailty, and utterly fail to help patients mentally prepare for death.
Borrowed from Margo DeMoor. It was discussed at their joint book club meeting last year. Very well-written and right-on. He addressed end-of-life issues and the need for good quality of life rather than lengthened life, the move to change the face of care for the elderly. Shows how nursing homes have it all wrong.
If you are older then 50 and you have elderly parents this book is very good to start asking the necessary questions of those age groups. Very well written with not just a good amount of research behind it but a great intellect and heart.
"Being Mortal" examines quality of life as the primary goal in managing end of life decisions and is an accessible look at many of the ways our current approach sacrifices that goal in order to extend life at all costs. This is a terrific read for book groups, as the issues raised are profound, universal and ultimately personal.
This book was a moving and informative assessment on the state of care in our hospitals and nursing homes. This is a must read for people of any age to better care for our families and ourselves and to advocate for change in the medical community.
This book will put you into a thoughtful, melancholy (let's face it - depressed) mood, but it is a necessary book that discusses important things that we all must consider. It addressed the role of the Medical community in cases where someone is near the end of their life. Large sections of the book focus on quality of life for seniors but it also addresses those that have terminal illness. It will give you a pit in your stomach and maybe even a tear to your eye but it sure will make you consider the quality of life you want for yourself or your loved ones and will allow you to see things from another angle.
Gawande has started a conversation most Americans actively try to avoid, but the real gift of this book is being able to continue the conversation with others. Gawande provides information, giving readers a behind the scenes look into the minds of medical practitioners and the medical system. He then shares case studies, examples from people be has met and worked with and how they've gone about these difficult conversations, before sharing from his own first hand experience. There is no formula for talking about death and what matters in the end, but it is important to talk about. Gawande is vulnerable and honest, inviting the reader into this intimate conversation. Everyone can benefit from this book, as it will help deepen relationships by getting through the difficult conversations. For most readers, myself included, this would be a book chosen due to circumstances, but I hope it becomes a staple for everyone.
Perhaps the topic of the book is of concern to many people. But to me it seemed that the author have limited to give examples from the lives of sick elderly patients that he met during his career , including members of his own family. He's asking rhetorical question over and over-what should be change in a medical approach to treat those who are dying. But he himself doesn't have an answer-how to do that.
Everyone should read this book. We need to open up the conversations about death and dying and this book is a great starting off point.
Difficult subject matter? Check.
Important and informative? Check.
An essential read for every mortal being? Check.
i want to be in line to read this updated edition as a large print book. currently cpl shows my "hold" request as cancelled.
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Gawande, a gifted surgeon, raises thoughtful questions as to how medicine can enhance
the quality of life as we face end-of life. He grapples with the paradoxical limitations of his profession and anticipatory grieving as he struggles to guide his own father, also a surgeon, facing the end of his life. Good book discussion book.
The beginning of this book is packed with statistics and it made me wonder why I even checked this book out. But boy, towards the end, I was crying. Absolutely touching and eye-opening. I would suggest all people read this.
Excellent discussion of end-of-life care. Do we trade "happiness" for "safety"? Should we introduce hospice early? What are the most important goals for those we love as they reach the final stages of life?
This is a must-read if you are elderly, caring for an aging parent, or have been given a terminal diagnosis.
Being mortal is an eternal truth, but why is "aging" (and "dying") has become a modern problem? This well written (even poetic) book didn't really answer (in depth).
Admirable, from the expert of medicine, to show us the limits of science and technology, and emphasize on physicians’s role - critical (if not the only) one. Pointing out the Culture that doomed many, which is insightful. But, after I learned he was former presidents’ adviser, I wish to see his opinions or suggestions on what the government could do or how the profit driven industries could change, to improve the system.
Those of us who work in the Canadian health care system will find this book somewhat trite and less than relevant. A bit of scare mongering about physician assisted death and insufficient discussion of the impact on the emotional health of the caregivers for the end of life case studies. The book underlines the inadequacies of the private insurance health care coverage that results in the most expensive health care costs in the western world. Needless to say, we have some of the problems/ inadequate discussions in our health care system, so the book is worth reading to generate discussion. But be aware that other countries have a different system and make decisions about interventions and palliative care based on different values.
Thought provoking. A well written book that everyone should read. Tough questions need to be asked and answered long before someone's twilight years.
Through his medical life, Atul has provided a raw-cut version of human life towards the end. The author has provided a very good view on how to look your life when you realize that it doesn't have much time. This is a must-read book which will open your eyes on prioritizing things in your life.
At a certain age, we all deal with end-of-life issues in our families. I also have friends in the medical field who have to deal with this with their patients' families. It requires a delicate and empathetic touch. This is a fascinating and honest book about how a doctor came to a better understanding of this issue when his own father became terminally ill. Something every doctor and patient should read.