Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
It took me a while to write this review because it covered so much important information, I wasn't sure possibly write a review that would it all the credit it deserved, as I'm sure I will have glossed over lots of important information. In the simplest of terms, for me the book was about how medicine can improve life and extend life, but t's also about quality life -- knowing when enough is enough and when to stop treatments and stop fighting death?
For years a doctor's success was measured in part by how their patients lived, overlooking quality of life for length of life especially when terminal illness was a factor. Is the length of your life more important than how those last months or years are spent when you have a terminal illness?
This book is a must read for all baby boomers, for anyone who has an aging parent, grandparent, spouse or someone terminally ill in their family. There is information about assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and hospice care. There are some very personal stories about people in nursing homes who have all but given up hope, and how animals introduced into their daily life have improved mood and given individuals a sense of purpose to their lives. again Did you know that hospice care is NOT only for end of life care, and that most medical school students have no course preparation in geriatrics?
I can't say that there is much that is upbeat about this book, but it is beautifully and compassionately written and easy to understand. I enjoyed the personal stories about from the author's family and practice as a Boston surgeon. An important book for end of life decision making.