Being Mortal

Being Mortal

Medicine And What Matters In The End

eBook
Average Rating:
50
10
2
Rate this:
Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession's ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families of the terminally ill.
Publisher: ** E-Book // Click on DOWNLOAD link to place holds
Edition: EBOOK TEXT
ISBN: 9781627790550
Branch Call Number: EBOOK TEXT
Alternative Title: OverDrive

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

o
OGBooktalk
Oct 23, 2017

on 2017 reading ballot

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.

b
BeckyR21
Mar 20, 2017

Thought provoking. A well written book that everyone should read. Tough questions need to be asked and answered long before someone's twilight years.

r
rajkumarkm
Mar 02, 2017

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.

m
MargaretTyler
Jan 19, 2017

DVD for my book in March 15.

c
ctkvlk
Dec 09, 2016

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.

bibliotechnocrat Dec 07, 2016

This beautifully articulate, thoughtful book is a must read for pretty much everyone. There is lots of research here, but Gawande uses personal, truly human (in the Sacksian sense), examples to illustrate this philosophical approach to end-of-life. These examples offer a perverse kind of hope - hope that old age won't just be all bleakness and dire nursing homes. We can make choices that stack the odds in our favour of having quality of life even as the end nears. But we can't make good choices without thinking about the outcomes, about death, about what gives our lives meaning. This book is a great place to start that thought process.

s
shayshortt
Dec 01, 2016

Being Mortal is a book that is important for young and old alike. For those facing choices about where and how they will live in their last years, Gawande offers food for thought about the different options available. Younger readers will be better prepared to navigate these conversations with their parents. And of course, anyone of any age can find themselves faced with an unexpected illness that catapults them into facing their own mortality sooner than they might have wished or planned. Readers will emerge with a better understanding of the warning signs of decline that can severely limit independence, the factors that most affect satisfaction with elder and hospice care for the patients, and questions to use in discussions with doctors and loved ones.
Full review: https://shayshortt.com/2016/12/01/being-mortal/

r
reidwrites
Nov 17, 2016

I rarely make it all the way through a non-fiction book but I devoured this one. Excellent storytelling and pacing. Made me think about my aging parents, and myself—what do we all want as we age? Do we even know? Do we really want to be "safe" and to prolong life, or do we want to be fulfilled, and make the most of the life we have? And also: Why are we afraid to talk about it? I ended up buying copies of this book for my parents and siblings, and now my book club is reading it. As I host that discussion, I also hope to incorporate some of the thinking from http://deathoverdinner.org/about.

j
JohnTidridge
Nov 10, 2016

It's a must read book for those who are likely to die...It's written by an American and so...it is American in content...

However, It is important that 'end of life' situations be discussed... that the doctors need to be involved in a more personal way...

View All Comments

Quotes

Add a Quote

s
shayshortt
Dec 01, 2016

Death, of course, is not a failure. Death is normal. Death may be the enemy, but it is also the natural order of things.

l
LexiLou2
Apr 10, 2016

5 Key Questions at the end of Life:

1. What is your understanding of your current health or condition?
2. What are your fears or worries?
3. What are your goals and priorities?
4. Are there any tradeoffs you are willing to make?
5. What would a good day be like?

m
mgianno
Jan 17, 2016

When I was a child, the lessons my father taught me had been about perseverance: never to accept limitations that stood in my way. As an adult watching him in his final years, I also saw how to come to terms with limits that couldn't simply be wished away. When to shift from pushing against limits to making the best of them is not often readily apparent. But it is clear that there are times when the cost of pushing exceeds its value. pg 262

m
mgianno
Jan 17, 2016

In the end, people don't view their life as merely the average of all its moments -- which, after all, is mostly nothing much plus some sleep. For human beings, life is meaningful because it is a story. A story has a sense of a whole, and its arc is determined by the significant moments, the ones where something happens. Measurements of people's minute-by-minute levels of pleasure and pain miss this fundamental aspect of human existence. A seemingly happy life may be empty. A seemingly difficult life may be devoted to a great cause. pg 238

m
mgianno
Jan 17, 2016

...Courage is strength in the face of knowledge of what is to be feared or hoped. Wisdom is prudent strength. pg 232

m
mgianno
Jan 17, 2016

The choices don't stop, however. Life is choices, and they are relentless. No sooner have you made one choice than another is upon you. pg 215

m
mgianno
Jan 17, 2016

Even our brains shrink: at the age of thirty, the brain is a three-pound organ that barely fits inside the skull; by our seventies, gray-matter loss leaves almost an inch of spare room. That's why elderly people like my grandfather are so much more prone to cerebral bleeding after a blow to the head -- the brain actually rattles around inside. pg 31

PimaLib_ElizabethT Aug 12, 2015

People die only once. They have no experience to draw on. They need doctors and nurses who are willing to have hard discussions and say what they have seen, who will help people prepare for what is to come--and escape a warehoused oblivion that few really want.

j
john_doh17
Nov 06, 2014

Consider the fact that we care deeply about what happens to the world after we die.If self interest were the primary source of meaning in life, then it wouldn't matter to people if an hour after their death everyone they know were to be wiped from the face of the earth. Yet it matters greatly to most people. We feel that such and occurrence would make life meaningless. pg 126

j
john_doh17
Nov 06, 2014

We want autonomy for ourselves and safety for those we love. pg 106

Summary

Add a Summary

s
shayshortt
Dec 01, 2016

In 1945, most Americans died at home. By the 1980s that number was down to 17%. Today it is trending back upwards as more people pursue options that allow them to live out their final days in the comfort of their own homes. Doctor and writer Atul Gawande explores how dying became medicalized in the intervening years, as science offered new innovations for beating back disease in the 20th century. Encompassing both the elderly and the terminally ill, Gawande examines how end of life care falls short of providing patients with the best possible quality of life in their final days, instead focusing on what else can be tried to fix the unfixable, and beat back the inevitable. From nursing homes to cancer wards to assisted living facilities to hospice care, Gawande reveals the shortcomings of the institutions we have created for the dying, and asks how we can be better prepared to face the question of mortality with clear eyes and compassion.

j
john_doh17
Nov 06, 2014

While rather horrific to read there was a lot of valuable information. As you age, or if you get a disastrous disease, your body and mind are eroding to varying degrees. Our medical industry is only designed with prolong life not to ensure quality of life (and this comes from a doctor within the system). You get to decide what treatment you want and don't want (and should base that on the outcomes you want and are realistic - not what the doctor tells you have to do). Ask questions and face the reality of your situation. Some times there is no good outcome. If things are grim don't be hesitant to start Hospice care (it can manage the time you have left ). There are basically 3 types of doctors. Doctor Knows Best will just say here is what is wrong with you and here is how we will treat it. Doctor informative will say here is what is wrong with you and here are 10 options to treat it. The 3rd (and most rare) are the interpretive doctors. They tell you what is wrong with you and then ask what your goals are for you life, and then help you find a plan to meet them. As you age you should know what you want out of life and what is an acceptable life and what is not. Communicate your wishes clearly so that your loved ones are not left guessing as to what to do (this is a heavy burden to put on them). Have the hard conversations early even though it is hard. Nursing homes and assisted living are mostly designed for the children of aging parents (see the first quote I added). While a lot of aged care facilities are like prisons, there are exceptions (though rare). Dr. Gawande asserts that people need a reason to live and some degree of control over their lives. and will have better lives if they feel they do. It can be as simple as a house plant to care for or deciding if they want to eat something that may be bad for them.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at CALS

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top