Health Policy

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End - download pdf or read online

By Atul Gawande

ISBN-10: 0805095152

ISBN-13: 9780805095159

In Being Mortal, bestselling writer Atul Gawande tackles the toughest problem of his occupation: how drugs can't merely increase lifestyles but in addition the method of its ending

Medicine has triumphed nowa days, remodeling start, damage, and infectious sickness from harrowing to practicable. yet within the inevitable of getting older and demise, the pursuits of medication appear too usually to run counter to the curiosity of the human spirit. Nursing houses, preoccupied with defense, pin sufferers into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the death, checking for very important symptoms lengthy after the pursuits of therapy became moot. medical professionals, devoted to extending lifestyles, proceed to hold out devastating strategies that during the top expand suffering.

Gawande, a practising health care provider, addresses his profession’s final problem, arguing that caliber of existence is the specified aim for sufferers and households. Gawande bargains examples of freer, extra socially satisfying versions for aiding the infirm and established aged, and he explores the kinds of hospice care to illustrate person's final weeks or months might be wealthy and dignified.

Full of eye-opening examine and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that drugs can convenience and improve our adventure even to the top, supplying not just an excellent existence but additionally an excellent finish.

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Sample text

The family made it possible, for instance, for him to continue to own and manage his farm, which he had built up from nothing—indeed, from worse than nothing. His father had lost all but two mortgaged acres and two emaciated bulls to a moneylender when the harvest failed one year. He then died, leaving Sitaram, his eldest son, with the debts. Just eighteen years old and newly married, Sitaram was forced to enter into indentured labor on the family’s two remaining acres. At one point, the only food he and his bride could afford was bread and salt.

But I have also found it unclear what the answers should be, or even whether any adequate ones are possible. I have the writer’s and scientist’s faith, however, that by pulling back the veil and peering in close, a person can make sense of what is most confusing or strange or disturbing. You don’t have to spend much time with the elderly or those with terminal illness to see how often medicine fails the people it is supposed to help. The waning days of our lives are given over to treatments that addle our brains and sap our bodies for a sliver’s chance of benefit.

By the middle of the twentieth century, just four out of every hundred people in industrialized countries died before the age of thirty. And in the decades since, medicine found ways to cut the mortality of heart attacks, respiratory illnesses, stroke, and numerous other conditions that threaten in adult life. Eventually, of course, we all die of something. But even then, medicine has pushed the fatal moment of many diseases further outward. People with incurable cancers, for instance, can do remarkably well for a long time after diagnosis.

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

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