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Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End


Atul Gawande is an American surgeon, writer, and public health researcher. He is a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Samuel O. Thier Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of ageing 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. The book Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End addresses hospice care and the current state of care about age-related frailty, serious illness, and impending death. Gawande's reflections are interspersed with personal stories. This book follows how physicians discuss and address patients' anxieties about death, and how they sometimes give false hopes and treatments that seem to shorten their patients' lives and not improve them. Throughout the book, Gawande follows a hospice nurse on her rounds, a geriatrician in his clinic, and reformers turning nursing homes upside down. You can listen online to free English audiobook “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” by Atul Gawande on our website.

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