My book club rarely agrees on any book but this one was a hands-down must read and is about to be handed to our parents, our spouses and our children.
A dear neighbor of my father suggested this to me. I bought it and placed it in my to-read pile only to realize it was my turn to pick our read for one of my book clubs. Two birds, one stone I thought!
Having watched my mother and father in law succumb to the ravages of age and disease, I had first-hand knowledge that has led me to question some of my choices as I age. If we are lucky, we will all one day be facing old age and the hard conversations on how we would like that stage of our lives to be carried out. The author takes a clinical as well as a personal look at the people involved. Everything from the medical profession, to the patient, to resources currently available and those who have chosen to change the face of aging.
This book has illuminated a different perspective on aging as well as gave me a lot of starting points for a continuing conversation on choosing a path that is right for me.
Aging is not for the meek and reading this book will allow me to be tenacious and courageous.
Named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, The New York Times Book Review, NPR, and Chicago Tribune, now in paperback with a new reading group guide
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. 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.