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Being Mortal

Medicine and What Matters in the End

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


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.

Customer Reviews

Being Mortal

A beautifully written book about the process of dying and the ways it is done well and poorly.

This is not an easy read, but important to us all as we will experience death of friends, family and self.

I hope I learned something about living thru the process better.

Good intro to modern death process

This is a crucial introduction to anyone thrown into the dying process whether sick or care giver. It will help all people over 70 to plan how they want to leave the world. It gives tools to think about the old age process so one can make intelligent decisions. Especially to know ones hopes, level of risk and fears. Know thyself - this book helps!

An important book

This book is one of the important ones. It certainly improved my understanding of aging and dying. Having had loved ones die, I know how confusing and painful the choices become. This book helped me to understand better the issues and things to consider when making those decisions. The information on Hospice was amazing. I have more understanding about how valuable they can be. Even though the topics brought up are hard ones, this book was uplifting. It also was an easy read. So glad I got to read it.

Being Mortal
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Social Science
  • Published: Oct 07, 2014
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
  • Seller: Macmillan
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings