November 2014 Indie Next List
“Widely respected and honored physician Gawande addresses aging and end-of-life issues in his newest book. He notes that we treat sickness, aging, and mortality as medical concerns, but that the medical professions are poorly equipped to help with the issues of what makes the quality life significant. Gawande proposes that well-being should be the focus at the end of life and carefully illustrates how to approach this difficult subject. A gracefully written book of great importance.”
— Ann Carlson, Waterfront Books, Georgetown, SC
In "Being Mortal," bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending
Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.
Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession's ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person's last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.
Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, "Being Mortal" asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.
About the Author
Atul Gawande is the author of "The Checklist Manifesto," "Better," and "Complication"s. He is also a MacArthur Fellow, a general surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital, a staff writer at "The New Yorker," and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. He lives with his wife and three children in Newton, Massachusetts. Robert Petkoff has won multiple "AudioFile "Earphones awards for his acclaimed narrations. He was named Best Voice of Fiction & Classics for his reading of "The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore" by Benjamin Hale. His other narration credits include "Oath of Office" by Michael Palmer, "Gangster Squad "by Paul Lieberman, and books by David Foster Wallace.