Length: 304 pages
Audiobook Length: 9 hours and 3 minutes
First Published: 2014
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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 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. Here 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.
Quotes from Being Mortal
About Atul Gawande
Atul Gawande is a surgeon, writer, and public health leader. He is a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is the founder and chair of Ariadne Labs and the nonprofit Lifebox. He is also a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine and author of the books: Complications, Better, Being Mortal, and The Checklist Manifesto. Visit the author’s website →