Being Mortal

Being Mortal

Medicine and What Matters in the End

Book - 2014
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Comments (51)

Jan 09, 2018

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.

Dec 21, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

Jan 19, 2017

DVD for my book in March 15.

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.

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:

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

Nov 10, 2016

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

Oct 26, 2016

I found the first half of the book interesting as it was topical for me, the second half not so much. The author works in the same hospital as my daughter which prompted me to read it in the first place. I wouldn't recommend it to others.

Oct 18, 2016

It just wasn't there for me. Couldn't get into it and won't put it on a list to try again in future.

Sep 15, 2016

An excellent book about medicine, unnecessary suffering, the importance of hospice care.

Sep 11, 2016

I want all my doctors to read this book, and I highly recommend this book for everyone. My hesitation about reading this book has become complete enthusiasm. Gawande writes extremely well in a personal voice, unafraid to admit his own flaws while pointing out the flaws in our current medical system. I plan to buy my own copy soon to keep for reference as I age.

Aug 14, 2016

Poignant and well-written. His storytelling reveals serious issues while offering solutions regarding elderly care.

Aug 13, 2016

This is a must read anyone with aging parents or someone who is battling terminal or chronic health. A book that will open up crucial lines of communication, make you think differently about aging, illness or medicine and what matters . . . I found the writing to be excellent and done with a lot of care and compassion.

Aug 12, 2016

Read this with LPL's Third Thursday book club and enjoyed it so very much. It was informative and fascinating - Gawande's curiosity about this subject carried through excellently into his writing. If I wasn't at the library, this book would make me consider working in the elder care field!

Jul 11, 2016

Essential reading for all of us as we age.

Jul 04, 2016

I found this book to be outstanding, well written and true stories of people in near death situations and how they handle them, a real page turner!

Jun 20, 2016

Great book to make you think of how we deal with aging and death. Great research and good thinking points.

Jun 03, 2016

A crucial book that will force you to think about aging, mortality, and end of life decisions. An amazing read!

Jun 02, 2016

A perspective on healthcare in the United States and in other countries from the point of view of a medical doctor.

xaipe May 18, 2016

This is a moving, very important book about a taboo subject that no one wants to talk about and which we avoid for as long as possible. "We have come to medicalize aging, frailty, and death, treating them as if they were just one more medical problem to overcome." - Oliver Sacks
Subjects cover aspects of aging, prolonging life, hospice and palliative care, and preparation for death with examples from a variety of patients .

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