Monday, November 30, 2015

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End; Atul Gawande

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
Atul Gawande
Macmillan Audio

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.

5/5 stars
(library audiobook)

18 comments:

  1. I need to read this especially after watching my mother in law's end of life. The treatments they gave her definitely affected the quality of her life. I think I'll wait until after the holidays to pick it up, though.

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    1. I think it's a book anyone with aging family members or (aging like me) needs to read LOL

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  2. I guess it's in the must read category.

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    1. Yes, I think your humans should read this one Brian.

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  3. I have heard such good things about this book, but admit I haven't been too drawn to it. It sounds like a worthwhile read though and one I might get something out of. I will have to add it to my wish list.

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    1. You are still pretty young Wendy LOL, but perhaps if you are dealing with aging parents - in-laws you might want to try it.

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  4. I thought this was an excellent book, too. Not exactly a fun read, but so important and though-provoking. Glad the audio version was well done.

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    1. Oh yes, the audio was fantastic and sounded so personal when the author talked on his own family members.

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  5. As a geriatric social worker I so echo your sentiments. Adding to my list to read. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Adrienne, I applaud you for working in a seniors setting. I worked in the nursing home industry for quite a few years.

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  6. I've read that this is not quite a fun read, but a good one. Thanks for your review Diane. I have this on my list and on hold at the library. I was debating whether or not I should buy a hard copy to keep/share.

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    1. Hmm, good point Pat. I really loved the audio version.

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  7. Diane,

    Thanks for your honest review about this sensitive subject and book. It sounds like an especially touching audiobook.

    I like your holiday blog header!

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    1. Thanks so much. I liked this one an awful lot. Needed the seasonal blog change, but I must say for Dec 1st, we have not had a flake of snow yet --certainly odd for New England.

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  8. I agree with your entire review. I felt the same way about the book when I read it earlier this year. Definitely a must read for everyone.

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  9. I just came across this book recently at B&N and was considering getting it. I think I will go for the audio instead.

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  10. My sister has read this and recommended it to me. I have not read it yet, but will move it up in my list.

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