Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End


We recommend this…

definitely for every doctor and allied health professionals, also for anyone who wants to think more deeply about living well in the full awareness of mortality.

A quick summary

Surgeon Atul Gawande looks at our society’s difficulties with facing the realities of death – and especially at the issues in medicine and end of life care. He tells stories from his patients’ lives and his own, with enormous insight and the wisdom of experience. He also looks at similarities and differences internationally, and makes a compelling case that having an honest, courageous reckoning with death is life-enhancing and life-affirming.


Publisher’s description


Gawande’s most powerful, and moving, book (Malcolm Gladwell)

Being mortal is not only wise and deeply moving; it is an essential and insightful book for our times (Oliver Sacks)

For most of human history, death was a common, ever-present possibility. It didn’t matter whether you were five or fifty – every day was a roll of the dice. But now, as medical advances push the boundaries of survival further each year, we have become increasingly detached from the reality of being mortal.

So here is a book about the modern experience of mortality – about what it’s like to get old and die, how medicine has changed this and how it hasn’t, where our ideas about death have gone wrong. With his trademark mix of perceptiveness and sensitivity, Atul Gawande outlines a story that crosses the globe, as he examines his experiences as a surgeon and those of his patients and family, and learns to accept the limits of what he can do. Never before has aging been such an important topic.

The systems that we have put in place to manage our mortality are manifestly failing; but, as Gawande reveals, it doesn’t have to be this way. The ultimate goal, after all, is not a good death, but a good life – all the way to the very end.

Additional information

Format Paperback
Weight 252 g
Dimensions 195 × 127 × 23 mm
Book Author

ISBN 9781846685828

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